Dynamics of Messianic Movements in Africa. Case study of the population of Lower Congo Basin

Jacek Jan Pawlik

Katedra Nauk o Rodzinie, Uniwersytet Warmińsko-Mazurski w Olsztynie, ul. Hozjusza 15, 11-041 Olsztyn


The article deals with churches and religious groups that arose in Africa on the basis of Christianity in the 20th century, taking as example the case of the Lower Congo Basin. Initially, it was a protest against racial segregation and colonial explo­itation. Emerging independent churches were often a forge of nascent nationalisms. Enlivened by a messianic spirit, they promised a better future with independence. Over time, these churches institutionalized and gained independence, but this did not mean the promised bright reality. On the contrary, the crisis of the 1980s and 1990s has increased poverty and challenged existing development. New neo-Pentecostal reli­gious movements that preach theology of prosperity and practical salvation are develo­ping on this ground of poverty. They preach that it is possible to get out of poverty only through personal conversion and religious commitment. Due to the great popula­rity of these movements, independent African churches were forced to adapt signifi­cantly.


new religious movements, Messianism, African Independent Churches, Khakism, Kimbanguism, Matswanism

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Cited by

Pawlik, J. J. (2020). Dynamics of Messianic Movements in Africa. Case study of the population of Lower Congo Basin. Studia Warmińskie, 57, 383–400. https://doi.org/10.31648/sw.4988

Jacek Jan Pawlik 
Katedra Nauk o Rodzinie, Uniwersytet Warmińsko-Mazurski w Olsztynie, ul. Hozjusza 15, 11-041 Olsztyn