The United Methodist Church Episcopal Area in Nigeria (UMCN) has threatened to leave the church’s global body if it endorses same-sex marriage at its 2022 general conference.
Bishop Johnwesley Yohanna of UMCN said at a news conference on Wednesday in Jalingo, Taraba State that the Nigerian chapter would leave if the global body endorses ordination of gay people at the conference.
He said while debate on whether the church should accept homosexuality started 1972, votes cast in 2019 favoured traditionalists who believed that homosexuality was incompatible with Christian teachings.
The bishop said as a cleric who understands the operations of the church, it was impossible to be one church yet preach different understandings of marriage.
“It is not possible to be a global United Methodist Church that teaches and practices sex orientation differently in America and in Africa.
“If the plan succeeds at the general conference come 2022, we will not be part of UMC that will change the language of the book of discipline to accommodate same-sex marriage.
“Our loyalty is with Jesus Christ.
“In case the plan succeeds, some of us who truly believe in traditional and evangelical Bible teachings while maintaining African values and ethics, will cease to be part of the church,’’ he said.
Yohanna called on members of the church to pray and remain steadfast in the support of the ministry.