Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) officials have withdrawn an invitation for a visit by the head of the U.S.-based Episcopal Church (TEC) because of TEC’s liberal stances on sexual issues. It is a stinging rebuke of the official American branch of the global Anglican Communion. Equally striking, the Sudanese have recognized the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), the Episcopal Church’s conservative American rival.
With about 4.5 million members, the growing church in Sudan outnumbers the declining U.S. based denomination, which has fewer than 2 million. Overwhelmingly poor and besieged for years by war and persecution, mostly from the Islamist regime in Khartoum, ECS is strongly theologically conservative, like most African churches. Many Anglican churches in Africa and elsewhere in the Global South have distanced themselves from TEC even as they remain in the global Anglican Communion of about 80 million believers.