oa Proceedings Ekklesiastikos Pharos - The role of the Greek Orthodox religion in the construction of ethnic identity among the Greek community of Lubumbashi, DRC

Volume 2014 Number 1
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Diaspora is an important part of the History of Greece and it has played a crucial role in the shaping of the Greek ethnic identity. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (former Zaire) from the first decades of the 20th century onward, among the immigrants who reached the country to find job opportunities, there has been a strong Greek presence, mainly in the sectors of commerce and construction. During the 1950s, Greek migrants established the first communities which flourished until the 1970s and built the first Orthodox churches in Congo. The Greek Orthodox religion and traditional religious practices continue to play an important role in the life of the Community. Besides its position in the structure of the ethnic identity of the Greek migrants, the Greek Orthodox church contributes greatly in the conservation, application and transmission of values, principles and customs of the Greek culture. After a presentation of the main Greek communities and Orthodox churches built in the Congo by the migrants, this article attempts to explain the role of the Orthodox religion and its practices in the construction and maintenance of the ethnic identity among the members of the Greek diaspora in the city of Lubumbashi, since the community was officially established in the 1950’s, up to day.

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