Southern Baptists to open their ranks to missionaries who speak in tongues


Anita Hensley of Kansas City, Mo., joins in worship at the National Day of Prayer observance on Capitol Hill on Thursday (May 2). RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

hippo cartoon(Spontaneous charismatic groups can be found in many denominations.  Fortunately, many denominations have not taken a negative stance rejecting them.  We have been in such churches (Lutheran, independent, Anglican) and closely involved with Catholic charismatics.  It has been a good experience. Fr. Orthohippo)

(RNS) After decade-long resistance, the Southern Baptist Convention will admit missionary candidates who speak in tongues, a practice associated with Pentecostal and charismatic churches.

The new policy, approved by the denomination’s International Mission Board on Wednesday (May 13), reverses a policy that was put in place 10 years ago.

Speaking in tongues is an ancient Christian practice recorded in the New Testament in which people pray in a language they do not know, understand or control. The practice died out until Pentecostalism emerged around the turn of the 20th century. In Pentecostal churches it is considered one of many “gifts” of the Holy Spirit, including healing and the ability to prophesize.

Allowing Southern Baptist missionaries to speak in tongues, or have what some SBC leaders call a “private prayer language,” speaks to the growing strength of Pentecostal churches in Africa, Asia and South America, where Southern Baptists are competing for converts and where energized new Christians are enthusiastically embracing the practice.

“In so many parts of the world, these charismatic experiences are normative,” said Bill Leonard, professor of church history at Wake Forest Divinity School. “Religious groups that oppose them get left behind evangelistically.”

The change does not mean that Southern Baptists will commission missionaries who speak in tongues. But Wendy Norvelle, a spokeswoman for the IMB, said an affirmative answer regarding the practice would no longer lead to automatic disqualification.

Southern Baptists have long prided themselves as among the world’s most ambitious missionaries — reaching countries and regions few dared to go — but they are increasingly finding competition from fast-growing Pentecostal Christianity, which now has an estimated 300 million followers worldwide.

In 2005, the International Mission Board created guidelines that specifically disqualified all missionary candidates who spoke in tongues. For Southern Baptists, the practice, also known as glossolalia, ended after the death of Jesus’ apostles. The ban on speaking in tongues became a way to distinguish the denomination from others.

These days, it can no longer afford that distinction.

“Southern Baptists are experiencing such demographic trauma of membership and baptism they need new constituencies among nonwhite population,” Leonard said.

Indeed, the issue became such a lightning rod for Southern Baptists that it got top billing on the application form.

“If someone said they did pray in tongues, they were automatically disqualified, essentially for being honest,” said Wade Burleson, an Enid, Okla., pastor who opposed the ban.

The policy changes approved this week during an IMB trustee meeting in Louisville, Ky., will leave the question of tongues in the application.

And the IMB said it will still end employment for any missionary who places “persistent emphasis on any specific gift of the Spirit as normative for all or to the extent such emphasis becomes disruptive,” an FAQ on the IMB website explained.

Other policy changes this week would allow divorced missionaries to serve in more positions, including long-term missions assignments.

And the IMB will recognize baptisms performed by other Christian denominations so long as they involved full-body immersion. Previously, a Southern Baptist minister must have baptized missionary candidates who transferred from another denomination.

YS/MG END HORTON

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VISITOR FLAG COUNTER


Originally posted on Fr. Orthohippo:

Free counters!

started November 13, 2011  Page views seem to change weirdly.

View original

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A toxic (and criminal) political culture? ????


19889(It is usually a shock when someone is confronted with the fact that the reality you have believed in has more than just a few blemishes.  This is especially true when you believed your way of life and government is probably the best in the world. Still, after exposure, it does not pay to close your eyes to truth. Fr. Orthohippo}

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/05/how-new-york-became-most-corrupt-state-in-america-117652_Page2.html#.VU50NZMvaSo

Corruption

How the Empire State created such a toxic (and criminal) political culture.

By ALAN GREENBLATT

May 05, 2015

In any legislature, the top leaders are essentially the campaign managers and chief fundraisers for their caucuses. In New York, that means big money. State officials oversee some of the most lucrative sectors of the entire economy—Wall Street, hedge funds, Manhattan real estate. It means nothing for an upstate or Long Island Republican to vote to continue tax breaks such as the 421-a property tax abatement, which cost New York City more than $1 billion in foregone revenue last year. That’s not their constituency. In fact, most legislators in New York, as elsewhere, are insulated from political pressures at home because their districts are small and lopsidedly favor one party or the other.

Good-government groups like to refer to New York as “Citizens United on steroids,” since corporations can give directly to candidates rather than having to go to the trouble of setting up super PACs. New York has what is known as an LLC loophole, meaning limited liability corporations are able to give far more in campaign contributions—$60,800 per election cycle—than corporations and partnerships, which are limited to $5,000 annually. Even the higher dollar amount is mostly a fiction, since it’s no trick to set up additional LLCs. Last year, an Albany Times-Union investigation found that four developers alone had set up at least 48 LLCs between them, doling out $600,000 over the past five years. Cuomo, who promised to end the LLC loophole, has taken in more than $6 million from such funds.

Legislation to bring LLC donations in line with other business entities has moved through committees in both chambers this year. There will doubtless be a big push, in light of the recent high-profile indictments, to push something through into law. There’s precedent. Political scandals in the New York City of the 1980s led to significant changes in local finance law. But it’s always tough to change a system that benefits its incumbent members. In New York, campaign finance regulations are violated routinely—thousands of times per year. The State Board of Commissioners is run by four commissioners—two each from the two parties. Since it takes three votes to recommend prosecution, guess what? It hardly ever happens, unless violations are egregious and the official is a pariah in both parties.

It’s common everywhere for public corruption cases to be brought by federal prosecutors. (New Jersey Governor Chris Christie first made his name by helping to convict more than 100 officials as a U.S. attorney.) State and local prosecutors are often too enmeshed in the political culture, or subject to party pressure, to tackle such cases. “What makes this different is two words: Preet Bharara,” Horner says, referring to the U.S. attorney who brought cases against both Skelos and Silver. “If he just kept going after terrorists and Wall Street, none of this would have happened, but his attention was drawn to Albany.”

Bharara seems to have had his eye on Albany even before Cuomo’s decision last year to disband the Moreland Commission, which had been charged with investigating state ethics. Moreland files may have given Bharara more haystacks to start hunting through. But it’s clear that Bharara is offended by the stink of corruption that has long hung over the capital.

It’s something longtime political types seem to have lost the scent of. Being enmeshed in a culture of entitlement, they barely even noticed it. Instead, they continued to make the rounds of lobbyist-shakedown fundraisers held by the hundreds during every legislative session. “Culture matters, and it’s a deeply transactional culture,” says Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham law professor who made corruption the centerpiece of her primary run against Cuomo last year. “It leads to easier-to-catch, old-fashioned cash for bribery scandals.”

Any smart legislator in any state should assume his conversations are being recorded or fodder for damaging tweets. That’s certainly the case in Albany, where legislators get indicted seemingly every other month. The Skelos criminal complaint suggests they were aware of this. “You can’t talk normally,” Adam Skelos said to Dean Skelos, according to the complaint, “because it’s like [expletive] Preet Bharara is listening to every [expletive] phone call.” And yet, they kept talking.

Bharara appears to have plenty of targets to choose from in Albany. It would be most unusual if he were able to collect the scalps of the two top legislative leaders in the state. Yet perhaps it’s no wonder he went after them. “If you want to follow the money,” Lerner says, “you look at the people who are collecting the most money.”

Alan Greenblatt, a staff writer for Governing, is a former reporter for NPR and CQ.
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Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/05/how-new-york-became-most-corrupt-state-in-america-117652_Page2.html#ixzz3Zg33gcKj

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With Malice Toward ‘Nun': Why Is the U.S. Barring a Persecuted Catholic Nun From Telling Her Story to Congress


WoW with brady(A most puzzling decision from our government. One wonders if there is indeed a decision to hinder Christians from influencing American citizens.

Thank you to CP for sharing this item, and giving documentation.Fr. Orthohippo)

By Nina Shea , CP Op-Ed Contributor
April 30, 2015|11:51 am
Nina Shea is director of Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom and co-author of Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians

Why is the United States barring a persecuted Iraqi Catholic nun — an internationally respected and leading representative of the Nineveh Christians who have been killed and deported by ISIS — from coming to Washington to testify about this catastrophe?

Earlier this week, we learned that every member of an Iraqi delegation of minority groups, including representatives of the Yazidi and Turkmen Shia religious communities, has been granted visas to come for official meetings in Washington — save one. The single delegate whose visitor visa was denied happens to be the group’s only Christian from Iraq.
With Malice Toward ‘Nun': Why Is the U.S. Barring a Persecuted Catholic Nun From Telling Her Story to Congress

By Nina Shea , CP Op-Ed Contributor
April 30, 2015|11:51 am

Nina Shea is director of Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom and co-author of Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians

Why is the United States barring a persecuted Iraqi Catholic nun — an internationally respected and leading representative of the Nineveh Christians who have been killed and deported by ISIS — from coming to Washington to testify about this catastrophe?

Earlier this week, we learned that every member of an Iraqi delegation of minority groups, including representatives of the Yazidi and Turkmen Shia religious communities, has been granted visas to come for official meetings in Washington — save one. The single delegate whose visitor visa was denied happens to be the group’s only Christian from Iraq.

Sister Diana Momeka of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena was informed on Tuesday by the U.S. consulate in Erbil that her non-immigrant-visa application has been rejected. The reason given in the denial letter, a copy of which I have obtained, is:

You were not able to demonstrate that your intended activities in the United States would be consistent with the classification of the visa.

She told me in a phone conversation that, to her face, consular officer Christopher Patch told her she was denied because she is an “IDP” or Internally Displaced Person. “That really hurt,” she said. Essentially, the State Department was calling her a deceiver.

The State Department officials made the determination that the Catholic nun could be falsely asserting that she intends to visit Washington when secretly she could be intending to stay. That would constitute illegal immigration, and that, of course, is strictly forbidden. Once here, she could also be at risk for claiming political asylum, and the U.S. seems determined to deny ISIS’s Christian victims that status.

In reality, Sister Diana wanted to visit for one week in mid-May. She has meetings set up with the Senate and House foreign-relations committees, the State Department, USAID, and various NGOs. In support of her application, Sister Diana had multiple documents vouching for her and the temporary nature of her visit. She submitted a letter from her prioress, Sister Maria Hana. It attested that the nun has been gainfully employed since last February with the Babel College of Philosophy and Theology in Erbil, Kurdistan, and is contracted to teach there in the 2015–16 academic year.

She, along with the town’s 50,000 other, mostly Christian, residents, fled for their lives from ISIS during the second week of August.

She also submitted an invitation from her sponsors, two highly respected Washington-area institutions, the Institute for Global Engagement and former congressman Frank Wolf’s (R., Va.) 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. For good measure, she also had a letter of endorsement for her visit from Representative Anna Eshoo (D., Calif.).

The State Department wasn’t buying. It either thought that they were all in on a scheme by the nun or that Sister Diana was plotting to deceive her well-placed friends and supporters, as well as the U.S. government.

Until ISIS stormed into Qaraqosh last August, Sister Diana had a distinguished academic career and had been teaching an intensive course on spiritual direction at St. Ephrem Seminary, as well as English and peacemaking courses. She, along with the town’s 50,000 other, mostly Christian, residents, fled for their lives from ISIS during the second week of August. Since then, the 30-something religious woman has served as a spokesperson for this community, as well as for the over 100,000 other Christians driven into Kurdistan under the ISIS “convert or die” policy. Through this, she has become internationally known as a charismatic and articulate advocate for religious freedom and human rights. Mr. Wolf, who met her in Kurdistan a few months ago, explained, “We had hoped to facilitate her trip to the States so that she could speak with great candor, as is her custom, to policymakers. Perhaps just as significantly, we viewed her as a critical voice to awaken the church in the West to the suffering of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq.”

But in the eyes of the U.S. consulate, she is just another Christian IDP. (Last October a delegation of IDP Yazidis were given U.S. visas to come to Washington to speak.)

Adding insult to injury: In its 2015 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, issued this week, the State Department pledged that “every overseas post and domestic bureau will seek opportunities to engage religious leaders,” as part of its pursuit of countering “violent extremism.”

Opportunities to engage with everyone, that is, except Catholic nuns in Iraq — all of whom are now IDPs.

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/with-malice-toward-nun-why-is-the-u-s-barring-a-persecuted-catholic-nun-from-telling-her-story-to-congress-138471/#u2HBifaCJ02m0HJc.99

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/with-malice-toward-nun-why-is-the-u-s-barring-a-persecuted-catholic-nun-from-telling-her-story-to-congress-138471/#GQvGHKSIRK2lLOFL.99

Sister Diana Momeka of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena was informed on Tuesday by the U.S. consulate in Erbil that her non-immigrant-visa application has been rejected. The reason given in the denial letter, a copy of which I have obtained, is:

You were not able to demonstrate that your intended activities in the United States would be consistent with the classification of the visa.

She told me in a phone conversation that, to her face, consular officer Christopher Patch told her she was denied because she is an “IDP” or Internally Displaced Person. “That really hurt,” she said. Essentially, the State Department was calling her a deceiver.

The State Department officials made the determination that the Catholic nun could be falsely asserting that she intends to visit Washington when secretly she could be intending to stay. That would constitute illegal immigration, and that, of course, is strictly forbidden. Once here, she could also be at risk for claiming political asylum, and the U.S. seems determined to deny ISIS’s Christian victims that status.

In reality, Sister Diana wanted to visit for one week in mid-May. She has meetings set up with the Senate and House foreign-relations committees, the State Department, USAID, and various NGOs. In support of her application, Sister Diana had multiple documents vouching for her and the temporary nature of her visit. She submitted a letter from her prioress, Sister Maria Hana. It attested that the nun has been gainfully employed since last February with the Babel College of Philosophy and Theology in Erbil, Kurdistan, and is contracted to teach there in the 2015–16 academic year.

She, along with the town’s 50,000 other, mostly Christian, residents, fled for their lives from ISIS during the second week of August.

She also submitted an invitation from her sponsors, two highly respected Washington-area institutions, the Institute for Global Engagement and former congressman Frank Wolf’s (R., Va.) 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. For good measure, she also had a letter of endorsement for her visit from Representative Anna Eshoo (D., Calif.).

The State Department wasn’t buying. It either thought that they were all in on a scheme by the nun or that Sister Diana was plotting to deceive her well-placed friends and supporters, as well as the U.S. government.

Until ISIS stormed into Qaraqosh last August, Sister Diana had a distinguished academic career and had been teaching an intensive course on spiritual direction at St. Ephrem Seminary, as well as English and peacemaking courses. She, along with the town’s 50,000 other, mostly Christian, residents, fled for their lives from ISIS during the second week of August. Since then, the 30-something religious woman has served as a spokesperson for this community, as well as for the over 100,000 other Christians driven into Kurdistan under the ISIS “convert or die” policy. Through this, she has become internationally known as a charismatic and articulate advocate for religious freedom and human rights. Mr. Wolf, who met her in Kurdistan a few months ago, explained, “We had hoped to facilitate her trip to the States so that she could speak with great candor, as is her custom, to policymakers. Perhaps just as significantly, we viewed her as a critical voice to awaken the church in the West to the suffering of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq.”

But in the eyes of the U.S. consulate, she is just another Christian IDP. (Last October a delegation of IDP Yazidis were given U.S. visas to come to Washington to speak.)

Adding insult to injury: In its 2015 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, issued this week, the State Department pledged that “every overseas post and domestic bureau will seek opportunities to engage religious leaders,” as part of its pursuit of countering “violent extremism.”

Opportunities to engage with everyone, that is, except Catholic nuns in Iraq — all of whom are now IDPs.

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/with-malice-toward-nun-why-is-the-u-s-barring-a-persecuted-catholic-nun-from-telling-her-story-to-congress-138471/#u2HBifaCJ02m0HJc.99

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/with-malice-toward-nun-why-is-the-u-s-barring-a-persecuted-catholic-nun-from-telling-her-story-to-congress-138471/#GQvGHKSIRK2lLOFL.99

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Attention, SF fans. NASA May Have Invented a Warp Drive. FTL has been observed, apparently.


/ April 28, 2015

NASA May Have Invented a Warp Drive

Where no one has gone before._Andromeda-a5b44aa3955ede8ee51a21a43cbbd19f

The EmDrive, an experimental propulsion device, may be producing a warp field. According to posts on the NASA Space Flight forum, when lasers were fired into the EmDrive resonance chamber, it was found that some of the beams were travelling faster than the speed of light. http://widgets.ign.com/video/embed/content.html?url=http://www.ign.com/videos/2015/04/11/nasa-scientists-predict-the-discovery-of-alien-life-within-a-decade-ign-news If this is true, then it would mean that the EmDrive is producing a warp field or bubble. A forum post says that “this signature (the interference pattern) on the EmDrive looks just like what a warp bubble looks like. And the math behind the warp bubble apparently matches the interference pattern found in the EmDrive.” Nothing has been confirmed yet, but it could mean that NASA is one step closer to achieving faster than light travel. This will be especially useful if there are any developments in its renewed search for extraterrestrial life.


Matt Porter is a freelance writer. If you fancy reading endless Tweets about games and sports, follow him on Twitter: @Matt_Porter44.

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Islamic State’s sophisticated recruiting campaign


(Some insights into ISIS efforts to recruit American citizens – Fr. Orthohippo)

Iraq_ISIS_Abu_Wahe_2941936b
Islamic State’s sophisticated recruiting campaign poses persistent threat in US
Kevin Johnson USA Today | Apr. 27, 2015

Source – http://ncronline.org/news/global/islamic-states-sophisticated-recruiting-campaign-poses-persistent-threat-us

Washington

The arrests of six Minnesota men accused earlier this month of attempting to join the Islamic State group highlights an unprecedented marketing effort being waged by the militant group in Iraq and Syria, U.S. law enforcement officials and terror analysts said.

It’s a campaign that is finding resonance from urban metros to the American heartland.

“This is not so much a recruitment effort as it is a global marketing campaign, beyond anything that al-Qaida has ever done,” said a senior law enforcement official.

The official, who is not authorized to comment publicly, said the Islamic State’s slick multimedia productions, its use of social media and personal “peer-to-peer” communication are proving to be effective parts of a sophisticated program aimed at the West.

“I don’t think there has been one case in which we haven’t found some connection to the videos or other media the group has produced,” the official said.

iPad-mockup_GSR-ebook.jpgCheck out the new Global Sisters Report eBook, On the Ground. Available now!

Federal authorities have identified more than 150 U.S. residents who have sought to join the ranks of the terror organization or rival groups in Syria. There is evidence that about 40 of those have traveled to the region and returned to the U.S. Most have been charged; an undisclosed number are free and subjects of intense surveillance, the senior official said. The smallest subset of the group, an estimated dozen, represents those who have actually joined the fighting ranks.

But the official said the breadth of the ongoing inquiries suggests that the actual numbers of Islamic State sympathizers, or those contemplating travel to join the group and other rival organizations, are likely much higher.

The threat posed by aspiring foreign fighters has been a blinking red light within the nation’s counterterrorism network for months. But the flurry of new cases suggests a persistent problem for law enforcement officials who fear that some of the recruits could launch attacks against U.S. targets when they return home or will be inspired to lash out on their own.

They are young women and men who are “responding to the call to join violent jihad abroad at an alarming rate,” Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, chief of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, told a homeland security summit last weekend. He said the federal government has brought 35 such cases involving aspiring foreign fighters, many of whom have been arrested before leaving the country.

FBI Director James Comey also has expressed serious concern.

Varied nature of threat

A series of criminal cases filed in the past month highlight the varied nature of the threat facing the U.S., and the Islamic State’s aggressive pursuit of U.S.-based and other converts.

In the most recent Minnesota case involving six young suspects, all intercepted by authorities before their planned travel to Syria, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said the militants demonstrated a powerful recruiting tool that is difficult to counter.

Luger described a so-called “peer-to-peer” or “brother-to-brother” campaign in which the close group of suspects engaged in the radicalization of each other, providing encouragement during each phase of a nearly year-long mission to reach Syria.

At the same time, the group also was getting support directly from the battlefield. Abdi Nur, a former associate of the Minnesota suspects, slipped past authorities last May and is believed to be in Syria with the terror group.

Since Nur reached Syria, Luger asserted that the suspected terror operative has been serving as the chief “foreign fighter recruiter” for his former associates in Minneapolis.

Michael Leiter, former director of the U.S. Counterterrorism Center, said the recruiting strategy, personal outreach efforts, application of slick YouTube productions and other social media, represents an unmatched level of sophistication demonstrated by terror organizations in the aftermath of 9/11.

“Al-Qaida in Pakistan represented Version 1.0, with its static video of [Osama] bin Laden’s face. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula became Version 2.0, with [American cleric] Anwar al-Awlaki using graphics and the online magazine Inspire to reach potential English-speaking converts. Think of ISIL as Version 3.0.”

While officials believe that the U.S. will never produce the volume of recruits being drawn from Western Europe, where a disaffected Muslim population and a lack of integration has helped contribute thousands of foreign fighters to the Islamic State, Leiter and others said the U.S. nevertheless remains an important focus.

Terror sympathizer back in the U.S.

Among the most striking of the recent foreign fighter cases brought by federal prosecutors involves Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud.

The 23-year-old Columbus, Ohio, man, charged last week, returned from Syria last year. While there, he allegedly joined his brother, Abdifatah Aden, and received some training in a camp operated by the Al-Nusrah Front, an affiliate of al-Qaida and rival of the Islamic State. Following Aden’s death last June, Mohamud returned to the U.S. and began discussing an unspecified attack against the homeland.

Although the outlines of the plot remain under investigation, Mohamud’s alleged interest in such an attack strikes at the heart of a long-held fear by U.S. authorities: a terror sympathizer back in the U.S., searching for a target.

According to court documents, Mohamud “talked about doing something big in the United States.”

In conversations with one government informant who believed the suspect was attempting to recruit him for a U.S.-based attack, Mohamud “wanted to go to a military base in Texas and kill three or four American soldiers execution-style.”

The senior law enforcement official, who is familiar with Mohamud’s case, said such suspects who have demonstrated a greater commitment by traveling to the region and returning are generally “graded higher” as possible threats. The official cautioned that investigators are still gathering information on the extent of Mohamud’s activities.

“We have very little patience for letting subjects plan, mature and develop,” the official said, adding that the suspects’ planning and known travel activities are dictating the timing of recent arrests across the country.

Mohamud has pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Sam Shamansky, declined comment.

Hoffman said Mohamud’s alleged designs on a potential U.S. target, as described in court documents, were “too opaque” to assess as a credible threat.

“I want to know a lot more. … The good news is that we’re catching them, but that may be just the tip of larger problem.”

[Kevin Johnson writes for USA Today.]
Islamic State
Anwar al-Awlaki
Osama bin Laden
Islamic terrorism
al-Qaida

Posted in radical Islam, recruiting efforts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Conservative Anglican group backs away from split with Anglican Communion


(WoW with bradyArchbishop Foley Beach is the head of my own ACNA group.

We, too, are part of Gafcon.

Fr. Orthohippo

Retired ACNA, MSJ, priest

Fredrick Nzwili Religion News Service | Apr. 22, 2015

Widely viewed as a schismatic movement, the Global Anglican Future Conference, or GAFCON, a grouping of conservative Anglicans, says it is not leaving the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Instead, the movement says it is committed to renewing the 85 million-member communion from within.

GAFCON members from Africa, Europe, America and Asia, met in London last week, where they discussed the future of global Anglicanism.

“The members of our churches stand at the heart of the communion, which is why we are committing to its renewal,” the GAFCON Primate Council said in a statement at the end of the April 13-17 conference. “We belong to the mainstream, and we are moving forward.”

The movement started in Jerusalem in 2008 as a response to the consecration of openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson by the Episcopal Church.

It has gained ground, planting 483 new congregations in North America since 2009, Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America reported at the meeting.

Beach, who heads a rival group to the Episcopal Church, was elected to the GAFCON Council, the top decision making organ of the movement. Fellowships of Anglicans in Australia, England and Ireland are affiliated with GAFCON.

According to the statement, the movement says it has prioritized clear theological education and training of leaders, especially bishops.

At the London meeting, the primates said they are concerned the mother church has drifted away from biblical faith and voiced a new concern: interfaith relationships with Muslims.

“We do not regard the recent use of a Church of England building for a Muslim service as a minor aberration,” the council said. “These actions betray the Gospel and discourage Christians who live among Muslims, especially those experiencing persecution.”

In the past, some GAFCON bishops have criticized the Anglican Communion for being supportive of gays and lesbians.
Global Anglican Future Conference
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Posted in Anglican, christian demographics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment