Leaving Rwanda: Breakaway Anglicans break away again

Leaving Rwanda: Breakaway Anglicans Break Away Again

Dispute between African bishops and Anglican Mission in the Americas prompts U.S. leadership to leave body. Christianity Today online story published Dec. 7.

An 11-year-old denomination that has prided itself on its submission to majority-world leadership broke away from that leadership Monday. Amid a dispute over authority, bishops in the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMIA) resigned from their positions in the Anglican Church of Rwanda.

More than a decade ago, the association of churches launched as an alternative to the Episcopal Church. In 2000, Emmanuel Kolini, the archbishop of Rwanda, and Moses Tay, the archbishop of Singapore, ordained two Americans—Charles Murphy and John Rodgers Jr.—as missionary bishops to the United States. The maverick bishops’ assignment: to promote orthodox teaching and practice in the wake of infighting among American church members over sexual ethics.

Under the oversight of the Church of Rwanda, the South Carolina-based AMIA has grown to more than 150 congregations in the United States and Canada, with 100-plus additional church plants and mission endeavors in the works, AMIA spokeswoman Cynthia Brust said.

Out of Africa: What AMIA’s Exodus from Rwanda Portends for Global Christianity

Break underscores the difficulty of shifting denominational power across cultures and continents. Web exclusive published Dec. 9.

Divorce is messy, the lessons from a failed marriage often complicated.

Such is the case with this week’s split of the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMIA) from its majority-world leadership in the Church of Rwanda.

Until the 11-year-old partnership crumbled, it seemed to embody the potential for Global South church leaders to rise up and provide spiritual oversight and direction in the developed world.

Now?

“It would be unwise to draw any general conclusions for the future from a dispute which is clearly about particular human relationships,” said Brian Stanley, director of the Centre for the Study of World Christianity at the University of Edinburgh.

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