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First Asian bishop for South America: The Church of England Newspaper, May 26, 2013 May 30, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, La Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America.
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Bishop Raphael Samuel of Bolivia

A missionary from the diocese of Singapore has been consecrated as Bishop of Bolivia.

Last week’s consecration of Archdeacon Raphael Samuel at Cristo Luz del Mundo church in Santa Cruz marks the first time an Asian missionary has been consecrated for the Church in South America, highlighting the changing relationships within the Anglican Communion.

On 12 May the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone of the Americas, the Rt Rev Tito Zavala consecrated Archdeacon Samuel as Bishop in succession to the Rt Rev Frank Lyons, who last year was translated as assistant bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh in the ACNA.

The election of Archdeacon Raphael Samuel as the Bishop of Bolivia represents a landmark in church missions in that he is the first Asian missionary to be consecrated bishop in the Spanish speaking Anglican world.

A Singaporean Tamil, Bishop Samuel entered the Singapore Navy in 1974 after completing his education. Though brought up a Christian, in 1980 he underwent a conversion experience and left the Navy to study for the ministry at Trinity College Singapore.

After serving in the parish ministry in 1991 he responded to a call to serve as a missionary from the South American Mission Society and with his wife and son Elijah were appointed as missionaries in Bolivia.

Bishop Samuel has served as pastor of the congregation in Santa Cruz, and as Archdeacon of the diocese, helping the Bolivian church acquire diocesan status, raise lay leaders and training local clergy to assume the leadership of the congregations.

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