Africa's Anglican council elects anti-gay head

A Nigerian bishop, who called the appointment of an openly gay bishop in the United States "a satanic attack on God's church", has been elected to head the council of African Anglican bishops.

Peter Akinola, primate for Nigeria, has taken over as head of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa in a move analysts say is a strong signal Africa will maintain a hardline stance on the ordination of homosexuals.

Episcopalians - US Anglicans - appointed an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, for the first time in August, prompting howls of indignation from traditionalists, particularly in Africa.

"We as African Christians, we take the plain truth of the Bible, we don't distort it, it is good for us as it is," Bishop Akinola said.

"Those that think they have another level of understanding, or another method of interpreting, good luck to them.

"The Anglican Church must continue to uphold biblical teaching on human sexuality, marriage and family."

The council covers all 12 "provinces" of Africa out of the total 38 provinces in the world.

"If this trend will continue, if those who are deviating still refuse to repent, then only God can tell what can happen, but Africa shall not change its mind," Bishop Akinola said.

"If one is not compatible with our decision, that is no big deal."

Earlier this month, Njongonkulu Ngungane, archbishop of Cape Town, broke ranks with his peers over what he called their "intolerance" of Bishop Robinson's appointment.

Archbishop Ngungane was not at the council's meeting, but was represented by another South African Bishop, Dinis Sengulane, who made no comment.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the world's 70 million Anglicans, has called an emergency meeting next month in London to discuss the impact of Bishop Robinson's appointment.