n African Journal on Conflict Resolution - Religious networks in post-conflict Democratic Republic of the Congo : a prognosis

Volume 8, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1562-6997


The role of religion and religious networks in public life is gaining increasing attention in contemporary social science discourses against the backdrop of ascendant religiosity in many non-Western societies. In Africa, the reality of ascendant religiosity is exemplified by the phenomenal growth in the membership of the two leading religions - Christianity and Islam - and the increase in the number of other syncretic sects. Within this context, religious networks have emerged as important actors in civil society and as powerful forces for social mobilisation, albeit for both constructive and destructive ends. With reference to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), religious groups wield enormous influence in the public space as providers of social services in a polity that has been characterised by years of misrule, declining state capacity and protracted conflict. The conflict in the DRC has deepened the imperative for constructive engagement by faith-based groups in the public domain, especially in facilitating the peacebuilding process. Against this background, this paper examines the roles of religious networks in the DRC's public sphere in the post-conflict epoch and prognosticates the future of the country.

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