Africa

Out of Africa: What AMIA's Exodus from Rwanda Portends for Global Christianity

Break underscores the difficulty of shifting denominational power across cultures and continents.

Divorce is messy, the lessons from a failed marriage often complicated.

Such is the case with this week's split of the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMIA) from its majority-world leadership in the Church of Rwanda.

Until the 11-year-old partnership crumbled, it seemed to embody the potential for Global South church leaders to rise up and provide spiritual oversight and direction in the developed world.

Now?

"It would be unwise to draw any general conclusions for the future from a dispute which is clearly about particular human relationships," said Brian Stanley, director of the Centre for the Study of World Christianity at the University of Edinburgh.

Under the oversight of the Rwandan province, the South Carolina–based AMIA grew to more than 150 congregations in the United States and Canada, AMIA spokeswoman Cynthia Brust said.

But the 2010 retirement of Rwandan Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini—who had a strong connection with Bishop Charles Murphy, AMIA's chairman—precipitated ...

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