n Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies - Guest editorial

Volume 35, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-9507



World Christianity has in recent times been hit by waves of Pentecostalisation and Christianity in Africa has been no exception. These waves are due to a variety of reasons, notably the phenomena of globalization and the defiant post-secular quest for religion. On the surface, we see the effects of Pentecostalisation in the increased spontaneity in worship across Catholic and Protestant denominations. We have also witnessed the introduction of western (and in a few cases African) musical instruments as part and parcel of worship. Healing has become a budding church industry, within healing pastors criss-crossing the African continent in mega events sometimes called 'crusades' of healing. New satellite television channels beam recorded and live healing services and healing stories from both local and international sources. We have seen the increasing emergence of so-called mega churches, where thousands gather for worship every weekend, in both rural and urban centres across Africa. Some of these churches cater predominantly for the upwardly mobile and middle class populace. In many of these churches, the lingua franca is English, the atmosphere performative, the tempo upbeat and the gestures vigorous, noisy and markedly exaggerated. Could all this be empty show?

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