Leaders of Britain’s Black Majority churches urge the government to rethink its same-sex proposals (Press Release)



Statement for immediate release

5 February 2013

Leaders of Britain’s Black Majority churches urge
the government to rethink its same-sex proposals

On the day of the government’s second reading of the bill in Parliament to redefine marriage, leaders of Black Majority churches warn of the dangers and unintended consequences in such a move. Black church leaders reaffirm their understanding and commitment to marriage as a lifelong partnership of a man and a woman. Marriage, they argue, is foundational to society’s well-being and children flourish best in loving, stable, heterosexual relationships.

Bishop Eric Brown, presiding bishop of the New Testament Church of God says: “Marriage is important in our society. It is a foundational institution for nurturing and bringing up children in a balanced home context. I believe we will serve the interests of future generations well by maintaining the understanding that marriage is between a man and a woman. The government needs to think long and hard before it embarks on redefining this historic institution. The proposal to allow same sex marriage in the name of equality is both dangerous and damaging with serious social and moral implications. I urge them to rethink the proposal.”

Bishop Wilton Powell, presiding bishop of the Church of God of Prophecy expresses concern about some of the wider implications of the government’s intention in moving away from the traditional and cultural meaning of marriage: “The attempt to redefine marriage—the move to include same sex couples in the definition— is an ill-advised departure from both our cultural and Christian understanding of marriage. This move is bound to have serious unintended consequences, especially for those who consciously adhere to the historic Christian view that marriage is between a man and a woman. People who work in our churches, schools and other public institutions may find themselves discriminated against because they disagree with the government’s new definition of marriage.”

Leaders of Black Majority churches encourage their members to pray that the government will reconsider this proposal and that the voices of opposition inside and outside Parliament will be listened to.

Notes for editors:

  1. The National Church Leaders Forum (NCLF) represents the concerns of leaders and members of African and Caribbean churches in the UK. It is supported by key church and denominational leaders, including, Rev Father Olu Abiola, Special Apostle John Adegoke, Bishop Doye Agama, Rev Esme Beswick, Bishop Alvin Blake, Bishop Eric Brown, Rev Celia Appiagyei-Collins, Bishop John Francis, Bishop Paul Hackman, Pastor Agu Irukwu, Bishop-elect Delroy Powell, Bishop Wilton Powell, Dr Michel Sacramento, Rev Nezlin Sterling, Pastor Ian Sweeney, Apostle Alfred Williams

2,   Media inquiries: Bishop Eric Brown 01604 824222
Bishop Wilton Powell 0121 3582231.

About israelolofinjana

Rev Israel Oluwole Olofinjana is an ordained and accredited Baptist minister and has pastored Crofton Park Baptist Church (2007-2011) and Catford Community Church (2011-2013). He is currently the pastor of Woolwich Central Baptist Church, a multicultural church in south east London. He is Nigerian coming from a Pentecostal background. He holds a BA (Hons) in Religious Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and MTh from Carolina University of Theology (CUT). Israel is the editor of “Turning the Tables on Mission: Stories of Christians from the Global South in the UK” and author of “Reverse in Ministry and Missions: Africans in the Dark Continent of Europe” and “20 Pentecostal Pioneers in Nigeria” He has spoken in a number of conferences regarding reverse mission and Black Majority Churches (BMCs) and has also contributed to academic journals and Christian magazines on the subject of Black Majority Churches (BMC) in Britain. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at Queens Foundation, Birmingham and a trustee and visiting lecturer at Redcliffe College. Israel is also one of the Directors of Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World an initiative design to train and equip pastors and missionaries from the South. He is a member of the Global Connections council. When he is not preaching or writing he is playing with Lego! He is happily married to Lucy who works as the Media and Communications Officer with Churches Together in England. She is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), earning a BA in Social Anthropology and International Development. Lucy loves baking and watching movies! They are blessed with one son, Iyanuoluwa (God's miracle)
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