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The Bible is the hope for Africa’s future, archbishop says: The Church of England Newspaper, April 29, 2010 May 3, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Biblical Interpretation, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of West Africa.

Archbishop Justice Akrofi of West Africa

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Africa will not rise from poverty until its peoples take the message of the Gospel to heart, the Archbishop of West Africa said in the keynote address to the African Bible Society meeting in Accra, Ghana last week.

And for this to happen, Africa needed more Bibles, Archbishop Justice Akrofi told the delegates from 30 denominations drawn from 12 African nations at the start of the four day conference on April 15.  While the world was awash in print with over 300,000 new books published each year, only one book, the Bible, was capable of transforming the world, he said.

“The Bible has been a transformer and a unifying force bringing people of different races and colour” together into a “mutual respect”, the archbishop said.  And it was only when these conditions were fulfilled, would Africa rise from poverty.

Archbishop Akrofi, the Bishop of Accra and President of the Bible Society of Ghana urged church leaders to return to the Bible as their guide.  “Our fellowship has transcended denominations, the Bible and the Christian faith has promoted tolerance for peoples of other faiths as all humanity derives its existence from the one God,” he said.

While economic aid and development assistance from the West was welcome, by itself it would not transform Africa, he said.  The continent was blessed with “vast human and natural resources,” but tribalism and ethnic strife had retarded the continent’s growth.

However, it was an exciting time to be a Christian in Africa, as the faith was growing rapidly across the continent and because “Christians were change agents”, there was hope for Africa’s future, the archbishop said.

David Hammond, Africa Area Secretary for the Bible Society told the conference the Bible Society was seeking to distribute Bibles across the continent.  The message of the Bible, he said, would transform Africa and was the only lasting way to put a stop to Africa’s endemic corruption, wars and social evils.

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