Article from ROAPE Volume 19 Number 52
Power in the Name of Jesus
One of the remarkable recent trends in Nigeria has been the rise to religious and social prominence of the ‘charismatic’ or ‘pentecostal’ Christian movement. In little more than a decade, thousands of new churches and evangelical groups have cropped up in the cities and towns of the south. Those established earlier, either by US and British Missionaries or Nigerians, are experiencing an unprecedented revival. While research continues on the dizzying multitude of ‘indigenous’ new religious movements, still focused for the large part on the ‘Aladura’ churches of western Nigeria, very little has appeared in the literature on this new wave of Christian churches. Because of the strong links between these churches and their US or British Brethren, as well as the marked increase of this type of Christianity throughout the continent, many scholars and religious leaders are tempted to view the rise of these churches solely from the point of view of their foreign origins and connections. Although the concern often expressed about the infiltration of what it seems as a pernicious US doctrine serving as a vehicle for the promotion of the ‘New Religious Right's’ political agenda for the continent may be justified in some contexts, in the southern cities of Nigeria, the ‘politics’ of these churches are of a different sort. Discusses: The Community of the Saved; Conversion and Reconstructing; ‘Jesus is our Lord, Catering is our Business’ ; Born-again Women; Powers and Principalities; Conclusion.