chapter  7
16 Pages

Pentecostals and developmental citizenship in Ethiopia

WithEmanuele Fantini

The chapter considers the relationship between the Pentecostal-charismatic call for the moral regeneration of the country and the political and socio-economic transformations occurring in Ethiopia. The chapter presents the Pentecostal call to Ethiopian citizens to become active and productive Christian actors and it highlights similarities with the strategy adopted by the Ethiopian ruling elite to organise the participation of the population in public affairs (politics, economy, development) according to the principles of ethnic federalism and the developmental state. The analysis contests the idea that the Pentecostal call for moral regeneration mirrors the governmental discourse on good governance and development/economic transformation. Instead, the rigid tenets of developmental citizenship promoted by the government fail to fully accommodate Pentecostal logics and aspirations that challenge the secular division between state and church, religion and politics, spiritual and material transformation, thus ultimately undermining the very foundation of the Ethiopian federal state.