Titus Presler writes at his weblog, On Mission:

The announcement is silent, perhaps appropriately, about three salient features of the appointment: First, Bp. Idowu-Fearon will be the first secretary general from the Two-Thirds World, his predecessors having been from the U.K., Ireland, and North America. …

Second, the new secretary general is an African. From the Pew Research Center today comes the results of a six-year project in religious demography. Reportedly, while 25% of the world’s Christians are currently in SubSaharan Africa, by 2050 that percentage is predicted to be 40%. …

Third, the new secretary general is from Nigeria in particular. Two points about this: While the U.K. has the highest number of self-identified Anglicans, about 26 million (out of the global total of about 80 million Anglicans), the weekly attendance is about 1 million or less. Nigeria’s Anglicans number about 18 million, but the average level of church involvement is vastly higher than in the U.K., as it is among Christians throughout Africa. Weekly attendance figures for Nigerian Anglicans may not be available, but it is likely that 6-8 million Anglicans are in church every week.

Equally important, the Anglican Church of Nigeria has led dissension within the Anglican Communion concerning issues of human sexuality, for instance boycotting the 2008 Lambeth Conference, catalyzing the Global Anglican Future Conferences (GAFCON), and participating in the establishment of dissident dioceses in the USA. By contrast, Bp. Idowu-Fearon has long been a moderate voice in Nigerian Anglicanism. His ministry as secretary general may well help to stimulate reconciliation within global Anglicanism.

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