ELCIN operating ‘illegally’
• By Hilary Mare
THE absence of a single bishop in the recently installed leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) has plunged the Christian organisation into a constitutional and legal crisis where it is currently operating ‘illegally’, an internal source has told Confidente.
According to Chapter XIV, read with Article 162, of ELCIN constitution, ELCIN is an episcopate. This means that ELCIN is a faith-based organisation, which must only be led, governed and administered as well as supervised by a bishop, no other.
Alternatively put, being an Episcopal Church body, ELCIN cannot constitutionally and lawfully operate or function in the absence of at least one bishop, the source explained further adding that this contentious issue has split the church.
Currently, ELCIN is under the leadership of revered Hilya Nghaangulwa who leads its eastern diocese until a substantive bishop is elected and Gideon Niitenge as ELCIN’s presiding bishop at the western diocese until the next ordinary synod in 2024.
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