A Nigerian Anglican bishop has slammed the Church of England after amending the Affirmation of Baptism service to be more welcoming to the trans community.
The BBC reported that the update service – which would celebrate a person’s gender identity – would see the person being addressed by their chosen name not their birth name.
The Affirmation of Baptism service isn’t a second baptism but is intended for people who wish to make a renewed declaration of their faith.
However, the church has faced backlash from its own bishops and now Okoh said the amendment “contradicts our God-given identity as male and female.”
Now, Nicholas Okoh – who is the Archbishop of Abuja Province and Primate of the Church of Nigeria – has slammed the move by the Church of England and prayed for “repentance”.
In a message for Epiphany, Okoh said: “A form of service which is intended to mark a renewed commitment to Christ and the new life we receive through him is instead used to celebrate an identity which contradicts our God-given identity as male and female (as affirmed by Jesus himself in Matthew 19:4) and is still controversial even in secular society.
“So, much as we thank God for the rich history represent by the See of Canterbury, we cannot avoid the sad truth that insistence on full communion with Canterbury as an essential mark of belonging to the Anglican Communion now risks jeopardising the apostolic faith itself.
“Let us pray that there will be repentance and that God will give courage and boldness to those who remain faithful.”