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Hallo again to all.

A Nigerian giraffeThe big news this week is that surrounding the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury to Nigeria. Nigeria is Africa's most populous country and has more Anglicans than any other country in the world. It is an enormous country divided into 36 states. The northern states are predominantly Muslim and the southern states are predominantly Christian. But there are Muslims in the south and Christians in the north. Over the last year, many of the northern states have adopted Sharia, Islamic law, superseding the national constitution there. This week for the first time a Nigerian Christian was flogged and fined for the violation of Islamic law. Dr George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, is in the midst of a two-week visit to Nigeria to see firsthand the effect of Sharia on that country's Anglicans and to attempt to influence the Muslim rulers in those states. Sadly, a number of his bags were stolen as he arrived from Britain.

Conflict with Islam is increasingly shaping the behaviour of Anglicans in every country, even those with small Islamic populations. Some argue that the Anglican church can be more competitive if it reshapes itself to be more like Islamic fundamentalism; others argue that there is no point in its existence unless it stands for something different. Our News Centre, besides carrying reports of Dr Carey's trip, also links to essays and articles about being Moslem in a Christian country and being Christian in a Moslem countryPart of the Periodic Table of the Elements.

In our New This Week section we list almost two dozen new parish web sites, including parishes in Chile and the Philippines. And we note that the BBC has launched a 'Religion and Ethics' web site, which promises to be very useful.

A fortnight ago we asked for opinions from our readers about how to classify Anglican Mission in America parishes here within our Anglicans Online taxonomy. We have concluded that classification is primarily a matter of administration and not doctrine, and have classified AMiA with other splinter groups in our Not in the Communion section. You can read the reasoning behind our decision here.

See you next week.

Cynthia McFarland's signature
  Brian Reid's signature
Cynthia McFarland
  Brian Reid

Last updated: 11 February 2001