Anglicanism and Violence


Here's a must-read blog post on how the Anglican primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Peter Akinola, long supported by many Christianists in the U.S., has gone further than simply supporting a law that would criminalize homosexuality and speech about homosexuality, but has also threatened violence against Muslims in the country. Money quote:

"In response to recent violence following the cartoons depicting the Prophet, and violent and aimless reprisals against Christians and Christian churches, Akinola said in a statement "may we at this stage remind our Muslim brothers that they do not have the monopoly of violence in this nation" and that "C.A.N. [Christian Association of Nigeria] may no longer be able to contain our restive youths should this ugly trend continue". That was Tuesday of last week (2/21), just as anti-Christian violence in the north over the previous weekend claimed at least 43 lives (some say at least 50) in the predominantly Muslim cities of Maidugiri and Bauchi. On Tuesday (2/21) and Wednesday (2/22), retaliatory attacks against Muslims in the southeastern Christian city of Onitsha claimed 80 more ... Of course, it is unclear from news reports whether the timing of Akinola's statement led directly in any way to the retaliatory attacks on southern Muslims, but the statement certainly offered no effort of reconciliation."

The blogger is too kind. In the West, the theocratic tendencies of the religious right have very rarely tipped into violence; and there is no equivalence with the terror of Islamists. But in the developing world, that may not be the case any more. Nigeria is Ground Zero for the new wars of religion. And some Americans are on the wrong side.