Akinola barred from Jordan

Various newspapers, including today’s Guardian, have reported that Peter Akinola, an Anglican bishop in Nigeria who is a well-known “conservative” figure in the worldwide Anglican church, has been denied access (from Israel) to Jordan, where he was to have attended a conference of conservative Anglican clergy, on the grounds that his Nigerian diplomatic passport does not entitle him to free access (presumably because the conference is not of a diplomatic nature). It has been suggested, however, that the real reason for his denial of entry was his connections to violence in Nigeria:

The question being asked is whether a threat against Nigerian Muslims, and his refusal to condemn a massacre of 700 Muslims in Yelwa in 2004 by thugs wearing insignia associated with the Christian Association of Nigeria of which he was then president, might have reached the Jordanian authorities. More pertinently, critics are wondering how he ever qualified for a diplomatic passport.

The conference, Gafcon (Global Anglican Future Conference), has been relocated to Jerusalem, where the local Anglican bishop is said not to want them there either. If the reason does have anything to do with his stance on violence in Nigeria, it is surely welcome that an individual who does not disassociate himself from murderous mob violence finds his attempts to swan around the world disrupted. It is ironic that an outfit which advocates “muscular” Christianity, including “witnessing”, or whatever they call it, to Muslims and standing up to the “onslaught” of Islam sees fit to hold its conference in a mostly Muslim country, and it says a lot that it then relocates because it cannot function without a figure as tarnished as Akinola.

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