After his consecration in 1990 and given what he describes as his exposure and experiences which were compounded by his “undue” knowledge of Islam, Idowu-Fearon said his colleagues, fellow bishops, did everything possible to frustrate him in the course of his service. According to him, “my being elected as Bishop of Sokoto was seen by some in the then House of Bishops as a way of humbling me but God used our time in Sokoto to expose us to the international community.
And, when Kaduna Diocese was going to be vacant, efforts were made to send me to be bishop in Cyprus and the Gulf; this was to get me out of the country. The form was filled and my signature forged without my knowledge. In Cyprus for an interfaith meeting, the Lord revealed it to me through Australian missionaries who volunteered to host me for the conference and the plot was confirmed by the then Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.
After my first five years as the first ecclesiastical Archbishop of Kaduna province, again, the powers that be felt that I was too close to the then Archbishop of Canterbury and the Communion at large, that I was promoting Western relativism and that I was going to sell the province of Nigeria to the West. Two bishops were specially commissioned to sell me as a convert to Islam and that Fearon is a Muslim, drinking tea with the Sultan and that Fearon was promoting homosexuality in Nigeria.”
The Road to Lambeth
Idowu-Fearon’s journey to Lambeth as Secretary General at the Canterbury did not come on a platter of gold. Although he applied for the position, along with 31 others from various countries, Idowu-Fearon believes that God made it possible for him to use his undergraduate and graduate studies in the United Kingdom to make contacts that ultimately laid the foundation for his nomination after beating three other candidates who made the shortlist.
According to him, in the years after 1990, opportunities started to open up for him in Britain and the United States of America during which he served on various commissions within the Anglican Communion. Idowu-Fearon was a founding member of the Canterbury’s Compass Rose Council, a foundation member and one of the first three presidents of the Network for Interfaith Concerns.
He was also member of the 13-man committee of the Archbishop of Canterbury that looked into the responses to Lambeth Resolution 1; 10 of 1998 as well as member of the committee that produced the Windsor Commission Report of 2003. According to Idowu-Fearon, “as I was thinking and praying about taking an early retirement in order to spend the rest of my active life to build an army of well-informed and articulate Christian leaders to constructively engage their Muslim neighbours and build a culture of respect and peaceful co-existence, the Lord opened a new world of service to me.”
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