An African traditionalist group has rejected calls from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to scrap anti-gay laws in Uganda and Nigeria.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York wrote to the presidents of Nigeria and Uganda in protest at the countries anti-gay laws at the beginning of a five-day trip to Africa for the Archbishop of Canterbury.

In their letter Archbishops Justin Welby of Canterbury and John Sentamu of York recalled the words of the communiqué issued in 2005 after a meeting of Primates from across the Communion in Dromantine. The letter was also addressed to all primates (heads of national Churches) in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The African group, headed by Kenyan Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, rejected the calls, saying the request from the Anglican archbishops was “deeply troubling”.

He accused the pair of projecting a British debate about: “That which God calls sin”, onto the Anglican world.

“Such dialogue only spreads confusion and opens the door to a false gospel,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, was born in Uganda and is Britain’s most senior Black Anglican.

There has been worldwide condemnation of Nigeria after the country’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, signed into law a draconian anti-gay bill in January.

Anyone who enters into a same-sex marriage or civil union may be jailed for up to 14 years.

The law also bans people who register, operate or participate in gay clubs, societies or organisations, or who publicly show that they are in a same-sex relationship.

Same-sex relationships were already illegal in the country prior to the new law passing.

In December, Uganda’s Parliament passed legislation to toughen the punishment for same-sex sexual activity, including life imprisonment for ‘repeat offenders’.

However, President Yoweri Museveni will reportedly only sign Uganda’s anti-gay bill into law if he has proof that gay people are ‘made’ and ‘not born’ into their sexuality.

President Museveni announced he would not be signing the bill earlier this month, leading to a furious response from MPs who support the law.