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  Friday, August 8 2003


Kenyan Bishop in brush with gay collegues in UK
By Dennis Lumiti

A Kenyan Anglican Bishop was yesterday morning attacked in a London street by two Church of England colleagues for opposing the appointment of a homosexual bishop by the US Episcopal Church.

The British clerics accused the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) of taking an uncompromising stand over the controversial appointment of Rev Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire.

The two confronted Bishop Simon Oketch in London where he is attending an international seminar dubbed: "New Wine Conference".

The confrontation began with a heated argument over the appointment of Robinson and almost resulted in an exchange of blows before members of the public came to Oketch's rescue.

Oketch, who is in-Charge of ACK Maseno North Diocese, called the East African Standard Kakamega office from London immediately after the incident.

"I did not have any fear being in the United Kingdom because Anglican clergymen in this country have never indicated their support for this kind of behaviour," he said.

Oketch said he was going to the venue of the seminar when he alighted from a vehicle while dressed in his collar. The religious garb attracted the attention of the church leaders who were walking along the street.

He said when the English clergymen saw him, they asked him to stop and after greetings, inquired which country he was from.

"When I said I was from Kenya, they expressed anger and asked me to discuss an issue with them before I could continue with my journey," he said.

"One of them said they were saddened by the stand taken by the Anglican Church in Kenya and other countries over the appointment of the gay bishop.

"I told them we could not budge on the issue and that we will oppose it to the end because it is un-Christian," said Oketch.

He said his reply did not go down well with his colleagues who then grabbed him and threatened to beat him up before members of the public noticed the commotion and came to his rescue.

He said the clergymen hurled abuse at him over ACK's stand as they were being pulled away by members of the public.

Meanwhile, an American evangelist yesterday condemned the appointment of the practising homosexual as Bishop, adds Francis Nzaywa

Rev Edward Henderson of Study, Observe and Teach (SOT) Ministries in North Dallas,Texas, at the same time said homosexuals should be barred from holding offices in churches around the world.

Rev Henderson said homosexuals cannot claim to have been called to minister over the Church of Christ as they lacked the spiritual, theological and moral right to do so.

The clergyman said this when he gave a keynote speech during a three-day SOT Life Changing Seminar at a Kakamega hotel.

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