Unitarians in Africa

Unitarians exist in a number of African nations — there are no Universalists, denominationally-speaking, in Africa — and the Rev. Dan Harper has written twice in recent days about Unitarians in Nigeria, Kenya and Burundi.  Interesting and encouraging news.

I wanted to point out again that the Francophone Unitarians of Burundi and the Congo (Brazzaville) are covered in the (equally small?) French Unitarian press, so if you read the language you can find out even more.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Scott, do you know if Nigerian Unitarians are speaking out about the leadership of the Nigerian Anglicans? With the Nigerian Archbishop doing such crazy stuff in the Anglican communion, I’m wondering if the Unitarians are responding to that issue.

  2. No, I don’t and cannot assume they believe any differently than the Anglicans until otherwise informed. Why would they, if, as has been suggested in some of the gay press, that the animus against gays is less about religion than the culture, esp. the dominant Yoruba culture from which the Unitarians draw.

  3. In a recent conversation with a colleague, my understanding is that the sexual orientation issue is off the map for liberal churches in Nigeria (including the Unitarian Brotherhood Church). I’ve been told that the bigger conflict between Nigerian Unitarians and Nigerian Anglicans involves the ordination of women and the use of reason in Biblical scholarship.

    But in any case I would venture that the Anglican Church of Nigeria probably doesn’t give a “@$^&” about the opinions of a few hundred Unitarians living around the city of Lagos. Why would they, when they don’t seem to care about the opinions of over a million Episcopalians in North America.

  4. There will probably be several African guests at the next ICUU biannual meeting in Oberwesel (Germany) next November. If any of you can afford the trip to Europe, this may be a unique chance to meet them face to face. Check http://www.icuu.net for updates.

  5. What I’m really looking forward to is when we start seeing original African English-language worship materials appearing. The tiny Brazilian UU congregation has already enriched the worship life here in New Bedford (where we have a number of bi-lingual Portuguese-English speakers), and I regularly use English-language chalice lightings from the ICUU Web site.

    For me, having access to even these little bits of worship materials from overseas is a Big Deal, and has helped me break out of the stagnation into which U.S. UU worship has fallen.

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