The latest meeting of the Global South has begun (with Archbishop Glenn Davies of Sydney in attendance). The following press release was issued:
From October 3-8, All Saints Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt will host the sixth conference of the Anglican Global South. Over 100 delegates from 20 provinces will discuss the challenges facing the church in the world today.
Archbishop Mouneer Hanna Anis of Egypt is also chairman of the Global South steering committee. He stated the most critical of these challenges include poverty, illegal immigration, religious violence, and the false teachings about homosexual marriage prevalent in the West.
Delegates will also discuss the importance of ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. Invited guests to the opening session include the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Ahmed El-Tayeb, and Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II.
The Anglican Church has 85 million members in 164 countries, the world’s third largest Christian denomination behind Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. Anglicans in the 24 provinces of the Global South number 61.8 million, constituting 72 percent of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Expected participants include archbishops from the provinces of Sudan, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Southern Africa, Western Africa, Indian Ocean, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar and South East Asia. Joining them from outside the Global South will be archbishops from North America, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
The first plenary session will be led by recently retired Bishop Bill Musk of North Africa, on the historic church of Carthage in present day Tunisia. He will be followed by Dr. Michael Glerup of Yale University and executive director of the Center for Early African Christianity, speaking on how Africa shaped the Christian mind. The final seminar will feature Dr. Ashley Null, renowned scholar of Thomas Cramner, on how Africa shaped the Anglican faith.
The sixth Global South conference was originally scheduled for Tunis in 2015, cancelled on the advice of the Tunisian authorities due to terrorist threats. But this year delegates will spend half a day touring the Egyptian Museum and Giza Pyramids, and enjoy a dinner cruise on the Nile River.
Begun in 1994 in Kenya, each of the five previous Global South gatherings issued a “trumpet,” a declaration of principles and call to stand firm on the faith received from the Apostles. It is expected that many delegates will wish to challenge the current innovations happening within the traditional centers of Anglicanism in the United Kingdom and North America.
“This is a critical moment in the life of the Anglican Church,” said Bishop Mouneer. “We pray that as we strive for both truth and unity, our efforts will be ‘found faithful’ by God Almighty.”