chapter
18 Pages

Introduction

Christian citizens and the moral regeneration of the African State
WithBarbara Bompani, Caroline Valois

This chapter serves as a general introduction to the focus, findings and structure of the edited book. The chapter highlights how the incredible growth of Pentecostal-charismatic churches in sub-Saharan Africa is also starting to deeply influence the public sphere and the political realm of the contemporary African state. Acknowledging the complexity and diversity of expressions within the Pentecostal-charismatic movement across the continent, the chapter identifies in this newly acquired political character and focused public action, an emergent common trait that unifies all Pentecostal-charismatic expressions across the continent, from West to East and Southern Africa. The second part of the introduction offers an overview of the ways these religious groups are actively involved in shaping a new model of citizenship shaped around Pentecostal understandings of morality and integrity that guide the Christian African citizen towards a functional and better future while fighting the evil and immoral forces of the present, as for example corruption and poverty. This introductory reflection concludes by providing an overview of each chapter, 11 in total, and of the three themes around which they are organised: Politics and the Elections; Economies, Society and the Public Sphere; Values and Public Beliefs.