August 31, 2007
NAIROBI, Kenya — More than a century ago, Western missionaries began streaming into Africa looking for souls in need of salvation. Now, conservative American priests say it's their church that needs saving.
On Thursday, two U.S. priests were consecrated as Anglican bishops in Kenya, the latest in a string of priests who are defecting to African congregations because of the American church's liberal stance on gays.
Six other U.S. priests have been consecrated as bishops in the Rwandan church and another in Nigeria. One more American priest will be consecrated in Uganda on Sunday, where a radio journalist was suspended on Thursday after he aired an interview with a lesbian guest.
Davis Mac-Iyalla, who heads Nigeria-based Changing Attitudes, an organization of gay Anglicans, said arguments were being used to mask political struggles within the church. African archbishops "are being used by Western conservatives because they want to control the church," he said.
Not all African Anglicans are opposed to homosexuality, Mac-Iyalla added.
"My Scripture has not condemned me," he insisted. "Jesus came and died for everybody."
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