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Nigeria: Anglican church calls for members to take anti-gay oath

Clause in constitution applies to laypeople, clergy and house of bishops

The Anglican church in Nigeria has added a clause to its constitution that requires members seeking to hold office in the church to take an oath that condemns homosexuality. Credit: infoplease.com

The Anglican church in Nigeria has added a provision to its constitution that calls for members who plan to seek office in the church to take an oath condemning homosexuality, the Daily Post reports.

Vicar Ben Idume, of St Matthew’s church in the capital, Abuja, administered the oath to Parish Church Council (PCC) members March 2 the report notes.

The oath reads in part, “I declare before God and his Church that I have never been a homosexual/bisexual or (have repented from being homosexual/bisexual) and I vow that I will not indulge in the practise of homosexuality/bisexuality.

Those who violate the oath will incur the “full wrath of God and must subject themselves “willingly to canonical discipline as enshrined in the constitution of the Church of Nigeria.

One member who took the oath says pressure is being put on church leadership and faithful to compromise church teachings.

In January, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed off on an anti-gay law that further criminalizes homosexuality in the country.

According to the laws provisions, anyone who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisation, or directly or indirectly makes public show of same sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and is liable to conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.” It also makes it an offence to support “the registration, operation and sustenance of gay clubs, societies and organisations, processions or meetings in Nigeria, the sentence for which is 10 years upon conviction. Anyone who enters into marriage with a person of the same sex faces up to 14 years in prison, and those who witness, perform or aid the solemnization of a gay marriage face 10-year prison terms.

With the signing of the measure came reports that dozens of people had been arrested in states in both the north and south of the country.