30 September 2010

Rwanda: Anglican Archbishop-Elect Vows to Fight Gay Marriage

Kigali — Archbishop elect, Onesphore Rwaje, who is set to succeed Anglican Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini in January, 2011, has vowed to follow in his predecessor's footsteps by taking a firm stand against homosexuality.

"Anything that is contrary to God's family set-up is not acceptable; there is nowhere in the Bible where same-sex marriage is encouraged. God created a man and woman to be the basis of a family," the Archbishop-elect told The New Times, a week after he was elected to succeed Kolini.

Rwaje said homosexuality was a practice introduced by individuals who wanted to secularize theology.

The worldwide Anglican community have had to grapple with pro-gay forces from within, ever since Gene Robinson, an openly gay clergyman, was consecrated as Bishop of the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire, US.

The incident sparked widespread criticism by Anglican communities, especially from Africa, Asia, Australia and Southern America.

Archbishop Kolini is one of the African church leaders who took a strong stance against gay marriage, which resulted in Rwanda Anglican church province joining a splinter group.

Kolini has in the past referred to homosexuality as "moral Genocide" among Christians, and a new form of "cultural imperialism".

Meanwhile, the Archbishop-in-waiting has promised to promote evangelism, community development, unity and reconciliation among Rwandans during his term in office.

As a result of his ascendance to the helm of the Anglican Church, Rwaje will cease to become the Bishop of Byumba Diocese in the Northern Province and move to Kigali City to head a new diocese in Gasabo District.

Kolini has been the Archbishop since 1998.

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