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Protesters decry visit by leader of Anglicans
Archbishop Williams was scheduled to hold a service at a city stadium Sunday afternoon.
Breakaway Anglican bishop Nolbert Kunonga, a loyalist of longtime ruler President Robert Mugabe, was excommunicated in 2007 by the main Anglican Province of Central Africa and the worldwide head of the church. He was accused of inciting violence in sermons supporting Mr. Mugabe’s party.
Leaders of the global Anglican Communion have condemned gay relationships as a violation of Scripture. However, the Anglican Communion is loosely organized without one authoritative leader such as a pope, so some individual provinces have decided on their own that they should move toward accepting same-gender unions.
Mr. Mugabe is a bitter critic of homosexuality.
The schism in the church has left mainstream Anglicans without places of worship, and they have experienced intimidation and alleged threats of violence.
Last month, Mr. Kunonga took over Shearly Cripps orphanage, which is home to at least 80 children and named after its founder, an Anglo-American missionary who died in 1952.
A flawed ruling in August by Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court allowed Mr. Kunonga to retain control of Anglican properties until a court appeal by the mainstream Anglican church is resolved. That ruling was made by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, who, like Mr. Kunonga, is an open supporter of Mr. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party.
“This is a demonstration against homosexuality. I told people to come and demonstrate if they wanted,” Mr. Kunonga said. “Rowan Williams erred by accepting homosexuality and that has broken up the church all over.”
The archbishop is expected to meet Mr. Mugabe on Monday to discuss an end to the disruptions.
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