GAFCON commends Persecuted Churches’ “faithfulness to the gospel”
Report by Hassan John
The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) coming out of its conference;“Streams in the Desert” organized for Anglicans living in restricted circumstances who were not able to attend the G18 conference last year, in a statement, acknowledged and commended Christians and churches in the persecuted regions of the world in a statement saying, “We shared in the joy and suffering faced by many of our brothers and sisters living in restricted situations as they seek to remain faithful to Christ.”
GAFCON expressedits regret at the “betrayal (the persecuted churches) experience when the very gospel for which they are suffering is being undermined and denied in other parts of the Anglican Communion. It grieves us that those who reject the clarity and authority of the Scriptures, the universal teaching of the Church, the classical Anglican formularies and the decisions of the Lambeth Conference undermine the credibility of our witness amongst our fellow citizens of other faiths and of none.”
The conference which held in Dubai between 25th February and 1st March, noted the “hostility between India and Pakistan; conflict in Sudan; (the) fragile peace in South Sudan, though some parts continue to face unrest; and the endemic violence between ethnic and religious groups in Nigeria,” and expressed its gratitudethat despite the persecution whereby Christian are attacked, harassed and killed, “people are turning to Christ from every tribe, language… even in the most difficult circumstances. We are encouraged that the faithful suffering of God’s people has indeed served to proclaim the gospel to the world. We ask that the testimony of endurance and joyful resilience of the suffering Church be at the heart of our life and work together in the Communion, so that there may be blessing for Anglicans worldwide.”
The conference acknowledgedthat these “persecuted brothers and sisters give us an example of those who live the apostolic life in faithfulness to Christ, with God-given joy and perseverance, in the face of threats within and without and prayed that “their example will also maintain us in faithfulness to the gospel, prophetic witness, love of God and our fellow brothers and sisters, as we eagerly await the return of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.