*** DEBUG END ***

We are threatened by external and internal forces, says Okoh

16 November 2012

by a staff reporter

THE Primate of Nigeria, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, has warned Christian leaders across Africa that their faith is "seriously under attack".

Archbishop Okoh said that in northern Nigeria, where the Islamist group Boko Haram is based, "the Christian faith is an endangered species." He also warned church leaders against traditional African religions and their cults.

But speaking at the second Divine Commonwealth Conference (DIVCCON) in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, he said that disunity among Christians - in Africa and across the world - was also another threat to faith "within" the Church.

He also called for prayers for the Archbishop of Canterbury-designate, the Rt Revd Justin Welby.

Canon Patrick Sookhdeo of the Barnabas Fund warned the conference that the Church in Nigeria must co-ordinate civil defence in preparation for further terrorist activity from Boko Haram. He said that the Arab Spring, which began last year in Tunisia, could impact on Nigeria.

In the near future, the United States could deploy troops in Mali and Chad, causing the terrorists there to spread into Nigeria and create chaos, he said. He warned that the Church must be prepared for the coming storm, and create security plans and establish security support.

A delegation from the UK was invited to attend the conference. The Revd Andrew Symes, Priest-in-Charge of St Augustine's, Kings Heath, in Northampton, said that it was a "spiritual celebration, and a time for learning", and that it was a great privilege to attend.

"While there was an allusion to the infiltration of secularism and the heterodoxy of liberal teaching in Western churches, there was mostly humble acknowledgement of problems within the Nigerian Christian and political scene, and a calling of the Church back to the authentic message of the Christian gospel and personal faith in Jesus Christ," he said.

The 5000 delegates to the conference also heard from a former Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, who said that "the Anglican Communion has . . . failed to guard the faith once for all delivered," and he warned against a "monochrome Anglicanism".


Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Awards Ceremony: 6 September 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available


Inspiration: The Influences That Have Shaped My Life

September - November 2024

St Martin in the Fields Autumn Lecture Series 2024

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


Visit our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)