African Anglican bishops from the “Africa Comes of Age – an Anglican Self-Evaluation” conference issued their final statement on November 1, 2004. The statement, which listed thirteen points of affirmation, also verified the African church’s desire to develop its own identity apart from Western Anglicanism.
“The conference noted that the Anglican Church in Africa has indeed come of age and gone beyond the stage of mission "from the West to the rest", to that of mission "from everywhere to everywhere" and must therefore seek to work for the transformation of our continent by making the proclamation of the gospel in its fullness, and making it relevant to fight against poverty, HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other health concerns, corruption, conflicts and human rights abuses,” the communiqué from the Lagos, Nigeria conference stated.
In relation to the homosexuality conflict within the Anglican Communion, the African bishops reiterated their belief that “God created us male and female and we cannot sacrifice truth for any revisionist agenda which leans on a faulty understanding of Christian unity.”
In other points, the communiqué stated need for “well-resourced, highly rated and contextually relevant theological institutions that can engage intelligently with our peculiar challenges from an African perspective.”
The bishops also expressed concern over the “violent situations in Dafur in Sudan, Iraq and Israel/Palestine that hs resulted in multiple loss of lives.”
“We give thanks to Almighty God for this historic meeting, and pledge ourselves to ongoing fellowship, mutual support and shared witness in the continent of Africa. To this end, we will meet every five years, twice before the Lambeth Conference,” the statement concluded.
The Africa Comes of Age conference marked the first pan-Africa gathering in the history of the Anglican Communion. The conference, which was planned since 2001, lasted from Oct. 26 to Nov. 1.