The Gambia to become an Islamic Republic

 

The Gambia to become an Islamic Republic

Author: 

George Conger

Anglicans have nothing to fear from the President of the Gambia’s decision to turn the West African state into an Islamic Republic, the general secretary of the Church of the Province of West Africa tells Anglican Ink. On 11 December 2015 Gambian President Yahya Jammeh (pictured) announced at a rally in Brufut: "In line with the country's religious identity and values, I proclaim Gambia as an Islamic state.” Gambia’s ruler, who seized power in a 1994 coup, added the country would "respect the rights of citizens,”including Christians, who comprise ten percent of the population. The Anglican Diocese of Gambia and the Rio Pongas has been without a bishop since the death of Archbishop Tilewa Johnson in 2014. The General Secretary of the CPWA said they were “aware” of the president’s proclamation. “I do not think it poses any problem for the Anglican Church in Gambia and likewise for West Africa,” said the Rev Canon Anthony Eiwuley. Opposition leader Hamat Bah of the National Reconciliation Party told AFP he did not believe the president’s actions were lawful. "There is a constitutional clause that says that Gambia is a secular state," he said. "You cannot make such a declaration without going through a referendum."

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