Page last updated at 15:47 GMT, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 16:47 UK

Anglican Church around the world

EnglandWest AfricaNigeriaCanadaUSAWest IndiesSouthern AfricaSudanUgandaKenyaTanzaniaCentral AfricaNew ZealandAustralia

The Anglican Communion - the Anglican Church around the world - is in turmoil over the issue of homosexuality.

Traditionalists are strongly opposed to the ordination of gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex relationships whereas liberals are urging tolerance and change.

A rift developed in 2003 after the consecration in the US of an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson. The ordination of female priests is also a contentious issue.

In June 2008 some 1,100 traditionalist Anglicans gathered in Jerusalem at the Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) to form a network to combat modern trends in the Church.

Click on the map to find out about the major Anglican communities around the world.


England
Primate: Dr Rowan Williams
Number of Anglicans: No figures are available for England (rather than the UK) but the most recent national Social Trends survey found 22.2% of people identified themselves as Anglican when asked. This would give a UK figure of about 13.4 million. However, the Church of England puts the number of regular churchgoers at 1.7m.
Total population: 50.8m (60.6m UK)
History: English Christianity emerged from the missionary work of St Augustine, sent from Rome in 597, and from the work of Celtic missionaries in the north. Separated from Rome in the 16th Century and became Protestant.
Stance on gay issue: The issue came to the fore in 2003 when a gay canon was elected Bishop of Reading. Before he could take up his post there was an outcry and he was persuaded to resign by Archbishop Rowan Williams. Some senior clergy voiced dismay at this. Under Church of England guidance, gay priests can enter civil partnerships as long as they remain celibate.


Australia
Primate: Dr Phillip Aspinall
Anglicans: 3.9m
Total population: 20m
History: Founded in 1788 with the arrival of the first emigrants from the UK.
Stance: No official stance on homosexuality however Dr Aspinall said he felt "sadness" about the Gafcon rift and added that there was room in the Church for different views.


Canada
Primate: Fred Hiltz
Anglicans: 642,000
Total population: 32m
History: First church building was St. Paul's, Halifax, in 1750.
Stance: A statement issued after Gafcon says: "We are committed to constructive dialogue on all issues facing our beloved church and the Communion, including the blessing of same-sex unions. We remain convinced that as contentious as this issue may be, it should not be a Communion-breaking issue."


Central Africa
(Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe)
Primate: Post vacant
Anglicans: 600,000+
Total population: 36m
History: The first Anglican missionary to Malawi was Bishop Charles Mackenzie, who arrived with David Livingstone in 1861.
Stance: Former Archbishop Bernard Malango said the appointment of Gene Robinson "brought darkness, disappointment, sadness and grief" to his province.


Kenya
Primate: Benjamin Nzimbi
Anglicans: 2.5m
Total population: 32m
History: Mombasa saw the arrival of Anglican missionaries in 1844. The first Africans were ordained to the priesthood in 1885.
Stance: Archbishop Nzimbi has consistently and strongly spoken against admitting homosexuals into the church.


New Zealand
Primate: William Brown Turei
Anglicans: 584,800
Total population: 3.9m
History: The Anglican Church in New Zealand had its beginnings in 1814 when the Maori chief Ruatara agreed with the Reverend Samuel Marsden to give protection to three missionaries and their families at Oihi in the Bay of Islands.
Stance: No stated policy.


Nigeria
Primate: Peter Akinola
Anglicans: 15m
Total population: 134m
History: The rebirth of Christianity began with the arrival of Christian freed slaves in Nigeria in the middle of the 19th Century.
Stance: The church remains strongly and vocally opposed to homosexuality, regarding it as taboo and contrary to the teachings of the Bible.


Southern Africa
(S Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Swaziland)
Primate: Thabo Makgoba
Anglicans: 2m
Total population: 65m
History: British Anglicans met for worship in Cape Town after 1806 and the first bishop was appointed in 1847.
Stance: No official stance. Archbishop Makgoba attended Gafcon but said he hoped for reconciliation within the Church on the "thorny" issue.


Sudan
Primate: Daniel Deng Bul
Anglicans: 5m
Total population: 38m
History: The Church Missionary Society began work in 1899 in Omdurman. Christianity spread rapidly among black Africans of the southern region.
Stance: The previous Archbishop Joseph Marona, who retired in December 2007, said the Church should tackle the effects of war and poverty before homosexuality. "We have much worse things to face," he said.


Tanzania
Primate: Valentino Mokiwa
Anglicans: 2m
Total population: 36m
History: The Universities Mission to Central Africa and the Church Missionary Society began work in 1864 and 1878 at Mpwapwa.
Stance: Archbishop Mokiwa has said homosexual practice is a sin and has spoken of a "leadership failure" at Canterbury over the issue and the ordination of women priests.


Uganda
Primate: Henry Luke Orombi
Anglicans: 8m
Total population: 26m
History: After its founding in 1877 by the Church Missionary Society, the Church grew through the evangelisation of Africans by Africans.
Stance: Strongly opposed. The Ugandan church severed ties with its US counterpart over the election of Gene Robinson.


United States
Primate: Katharine Jefferts Schori
Anglicans: 2.4m
Total population: 290m
History: Anglicanism was brought to the New World by explorers and colonists with the first celebration of the Holy Eucharist in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607.
Stance: The first church to elect an openly gay bishop - but only after long and heated debate.


West Africa
(Ghana, Gambia, Liberia, Sierre Leone)
Primate: Justice Ofei Akrofi (Ghana)
Anglicans: 1m
Total population: 31m
History: The Church of the Province of West Africa divided to form the Province of Nigeria and the Province of West Africa in 1979.
Stance: The Church broke ties with its US counterpart over the confirmation of Gene Robinson. The archbishop called homosexuality "unscriptural, unnatural and totally incompatible with Christian values".


West Indies
(including Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago)
Primate: Drexel Gomez
Anglicans: 777,000
Total population: 5.3m
History: The Anglican Church arrived in the West Indies with the original English settlers in the early part of the 17th Century, the clergy for the most part being state chaplains to the English officials and planters.
Stance: Archbishop Gomez has said the confirmation of Gene Robinson is incompatible with scripture.



RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific