Akinola, Peter Jasper, 1944–, Nigerian Anglican prelate. He was ordained a deacon in 1978 and a priest in 1979. From 1978 on he built the Anglican church in Abuja, Nigeria, from practically nothing into a flourishing institution. Created a bishop (1989) and an archbishop (1997), he was primate of the Nigerian church from 2000 to 2010. A conservative and an evangelical, he is best known for his adamant opposition to the ordination of homosexual clergy and to the blessing of gay unions, and was sharply critical of the American, Canadian, and English Anglican churches, among others, for their positions on these issues. Akinola and other conservative, predominantly Third World bishops also strongly objected to the ordination of women, and the divisiveness of these issues has threatened to split the Anglican Communion. In 2007, in a direct challenge to the Episcopal Church, Akinola installed a Virginia bishop as head of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. Within Nigeria, Akinola supported moves to reduce government corruption and legislation that would outlaw same-sex relationships, the depiction of such relationships, and gay organizations.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.