The West African Province of the Anglican Church has joined the growing list of African churches to severe relationships with the US Episcopalian Church following the consecration of the openly gay cleric Gene Robinson as the bishop of New Hampshire. The move is the latest in a series of announcements in which key church figures in Africa have voiced their disapproval at Robinson's consecration and increases the likelihood of a formal and bitter schism occurring with the global Anglican communion. Speaking at opening of the joint Anglican Diocesan Council meeting in Kumasi the archbishop-elect of the province, Most Reverend Dr Justice Osei Yaw Akrofi, said the move is in line with a decision by 38 bishops at last month's meeting in Lambeth Palace to break away if the US church proceeded with its decision to consecrate Robinson. Speaking earlier this week, Uganda's Anglican Church spokesman Rev Jackson Turyagenda said his church had also severed its links with the US church. He said: "We have already made a resolution that the Anglican Church of Uganda will break fellowship with any diocese that takes steps to consecrate a gay clergy member or blesses marriages of gays or lesbians." He added: "We are not the ones breaking ties with the Diocese of New Hampshire. It is the one that has opted out of the fellowship." And in a statement released this week, the Anglican Church of Tanzania said: "We cannot be in the same communion with Robinson, his diocese and the bishops who were involved in the consecration." The Anglican Church in Kenya announced last week that it will officially sever ties with its US counterpart. Kenya's Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi described Robinson's consecration as "a violation of our community" added it was "against the scripture".
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