It is appropriate for a conference on African Initiatives in Christian Mission to reflect briefly on the prominent, if not overriding, role of Western churches as the agents of mission in Africa. A common trend through much of the previous century was the inclination of western missionising agencies to consider their white personnel engagedï¿½ in thel so-called ""mission-field"" as missionaries. By contrast Black Africans were invariably looked upon as recipients of the good news proclaimed by white missionaries.
Conference papers and deliberations like, the ones recorded in this volume on African initiatives in Christian Missionary are extraordinarily valuable because they have the potential capacity for helping, us find answers to the perennial, vitally important question regarding, the nature and task of the Christian church. What is the duty of Chriistians and churches in mission? What does the ""enactment of the Christian good news"". (Daneel 1997) entail? Where do we find the wherewithal for articulating a responsible hermeneutics for mission"" (Gort 1:996:68)? What is 'the church and, what is it required to do in the world?
The aim of this paper is to consider the main characteristics of the mission initiatives of African Pentecostals. In doing so, Pentecostalism is regarded as a predominantly ""Third World"" phenomenon and its mission initiatives are viewed in the particular perspective of sub-Saharan Africa. More especially, the paper focuses on the message proclaimed by African pentecostals and the resultant mass conversion movements, their charismatic leadership styles and evangelising methods, and their interaction with traditional rellgions and culture.
IZiyoni lyingwe enamabalabala. This is the first lime of a popular song telling us that Zion is a leopard with many spots. The truth of these words became apparent as I took my vary first steps into the field to research Zionism on the Cape Flats.
The proliferation of Charismatic and Pentecostal movements is a prominent feafure of the modern face of Christianity in Africa. They cannot be ignored as they seek to reconstruct Christian reality in the African environment. Charismatics are Pentecostals operating within the mainline churches so, for convenience's sake, we shall refer to both as Pentecostals.
There is a huge literature on African Initiated Churches in South Africa, and ""Ethiopianism"" - that inaccurate and unsatisfactory term which is most often used to denote schism from mission Christianity during the 1880s and 1890s - has received considerable historical attention as a form of cultural or religious nationalism or as a ""disguised social movement"".
South has come North. Mass immigration from the Caribbean to Britain began in 1952. Since then there has also been a steadily growing influx from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe, swelled more recently by the flow of refugees from war stricken countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Togo into diverse European regions.
Recruitment in the AIGs reminds me of the occasion when Jesus Christ spoke to Simon Peter. Three times he asked Peter, ""Simon Peter, do you love me?"" And when Peter each time said, ""Yes, I do"""" Jesus told him, ""Take care of my sheep!"" That same voice that spoke to Peter came to me and said: ""AICs, do you hear me? And when I responded, the command came: ""Recruit from the mainline churches!""
This is a brief descriptionptive account of the Shona Zion Apostolic churches perception of salvation. Most members of these churches are subsistence farmers living in rural areas. It is, intriguing to note that, even though Christianity has gained a firm foothold in these places, old traditions, cultural practices, customs and norms are still alive. Western Christian influence and patterns of life have not replaced the traditional life-style of church members.
In this paper I examine how the African Independent Churches of Zimbabwe relate the Christian message to the African world which is still rooted in traditional religion. What shape do their prophecies, faith-healing and exorcisms take in the African context? How do they interpret the Holy Spirit and proclaim the good news? Underlying these questions is the question of whether we are dealing with sects or Christian churches. My main focus will be on the Zionist Church.
This paper looks at healing practices among the Aladura Pentecostals. They are to be found mainly in Nigeria, but over the last few decades they have extended their missionary outreach beyond Nigeria and West Africa to Britain, Europe and America.