(Living Church) Sue Careless—Merry Times at Mere Anglicanism
It was particularly symbolic when the Most Rev. Benjamin Kwashi, Archbishop of the Province of Jos, Nigeria, climbed the winding staircase to the second-story pulpit [of Saint Philip's, Charleston] to preach. Two centuries earlier most black Africans in Charleston would have been house or plantation slaves. If they had entered this church, they would have been consigned to its balconies. Now a West African bishop preached to a predominantly white congregation, at the conference’s invitation.
The escalating violence endured by Christians like Kwashi in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria remains high. The day before the archbishop spoke, two bombs had been thrown at two churches in Bauchi, while in Kano at least 166 people were killed in eight violent attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram, an Islamist sect. The archbishop and his wife, Gloria, have shared in the suffering of persecuted Christians.
Although Gloria Kwashi did not attend the conference, her presence was felt. In many ways she represents the persecuted Church that does not retaliate but continues to serve others. A few years ago, a violent mob, intent on killing her husband, brutally assaulted her, leaving her blind for six months until treatment in America restored her sight.
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