The Prime Minister of Rwanda, Dr. Edouard Ngirente has officially opened the fourth Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Kigali appreciating the role of the church in Rwanda’s development.
The Premier showed to participants how Rwanda as country, has gone through numerous challenges, the
most critical of which was restoring security, unity and reconciliation of Rwandans at the wake of thw 1994 Genoicude against Tutsi.
In this context, Ngirente commended especially the Anglican Church of Rwanda for the continued collaboration with the Government in the implementation of programs in health, education and income generation projects, which are improving the lives of Rwandan citizens.
“Rwanda appreciates the role of churches, including the Anglican Church of Rwanda, in the process of unity and reconciliation, as well as in contributing to socio-economic transformation of our country,” Ngirente said at the Gafcon opening ceremony this Monday evening.
The Gafcon brought together Anglican Church leaders from at least 53 countries who will spend three days in Kigali deliberating on the future of the Church which is currently faced with division in opinion over a recent resolve by Church of England to bless same sex marriages.
The Archbishop of the Church of Rwanda, Dr. Laurent Mbanda, welcomed conference delegates saying the false teachings are around and the church has to hold on to the biblical teaching and authority.
“The Gafcon wants to bring in the bible at the center. preaching the good news of Jesus Christ,” Mbanda said.
Archbishop Foley Beach, the Chairman of the Gafcon Primate council and Primate of North America who has served the past five years says it has been a challenge with COVID-19, prosecution, famine and droughts and wars but also economic challenges however through God’s ordination the church went through.
He said that the Gafcon stands against those disregarding the word of God and stated there is a calling to repentance of the sins of the Church.
First, Foley said, there is need for the church to repent- to change mind and live for God and from the unnatural to natural.
He further said that the Church needs to return to sanctity and also return to the teaching of the Church, especially in Churches like Brazil, Australia and USA which have taken a different direction to allow same sex marriage.
“Sadly of the Archbishop of Canterbury cannot repent- we cannot consider him as the spiritual leader of the Anglican Church,” Foley said.
Archbishop Ben Kwashi Bishop of Jos Diocese in Nigeria and Gafcon General Secretary told his story of healing stage two cancer through science and prayers.
Kwashi said that on his return from the sick bed, he asked the question- To who shall we go? after hearing of the deviation in church teachings.
Kwashi said that people misinterpreting the scripture and for those who remain faithful have the following things to do: to uphold the Primacy of the scripture with no negotiation.
They should also take note of the power of the gospel which is the power of God to salvation and brings everybody on to the church without discrimination and finally, should priority of evangelism saying that if the Gospel is alive then it must grow.
“As Gafcon it is we God’s people who need to open our minds and not God. the Jerusalem declaration should be upheld to stop the compromise of the gospel and presenting Christ to the world,” Kwashi said.
At the conference, the Gafcon meeting declared a new seven points strategic focus and vision to guide the church in the next years.
These are: A decade of discipleship evangelism, intentionally look at the next generation of leaders, Youth development, Gafcon women- role of women in the church and put them at the center of evangelism, Mercy ministries to deal with global disasters especially to the non christian communities, Bishops training and Primate engage in learning from each other.