chapter  1
14 Pages

‘Good Christians, Good Citizens’

Pentecostal-charismatic narratives of citizenship, public action and national belonging in contemporary Uganda
WithBarbara Bompani

The chapter focuses on Pentecostal-charismatic churches in Uganda and the ways they engage with the political realm. This Christian community has in the course of a few decades moved from a publically silent religious minority to a vibrant and vocal group influencing public debates, policies and occupying and shaping the Ugandan public sphere. Drawing on the analysis of four churches in the capital Kampala, the chapter highlights how these religious bodies try to challenge the status quo prophetically and provide a set of contemporary practices in order to transform the future of the country. The analysis of church activity and sermons highlights an interest in shaping new moral Pentecostal citizens through the calling of Pentecostal subjects to play an active role in shaping the nation and society after decades of ‘secular’ failures. There is, however, also an exclusionary vision that rejects immoral citizens from the nation-building project as well as an active intent of ‘Pentecostalize’ the whole community.