This article is about the role of religion in contexts of displacement. The article looks at the role churches and church leaders play in the lives of refugees and more particularly the assistance that these actors provide. The analytical approach is to take into consideration both religious ideas and experiences as well as the everyday practices of people and the socio-economic structures within which they live. The empirical focus is on Congolese Christian congregations in Kampala, Uganda that for the most are founded and attended by refugees. I analyse the forms of assistance that are provided to refugees, how this is conceptualised as well as the practices in a perspective that includes the intersection between religious ideas (compassion and sacrifice) and ideas around social relationships, gift-giving and reciprocity.
Karen Lauterbach“Spiritual Gifts and Relations of Exchange among Congolese in Kampala, Uganda,” in Religion and Development – Nordic Perspectives on Involvement in Africa(ed. Thomas S. Drønen; New York N.Y.: Peter Lang 2014) 75–86.
Jean-François Mayer“Introduction. ‘In God I Have Put My Trust’: Refugees and Religion,”Refugee Survey Quarterly26 no. 2 (2007): 6–10; Ben Jones and Marie Juul Petersen “Instrumental Narrow Normative? Reviewing Recent Work on Religion and Development” Third World Quarterly 32 no. 7 (2011): 1291–1306.
See for instance Paul GiffordGhana’s New Christianity. Pentecostalism in a Globalising African Economy (London: Hurst & Company2004) and Birgit Meyer “‘Make a Complete Break with the Past’: Memory and Post-Colonial Modernity in Ghanaian Pentecostal Discourse” Journal of Religion in Africa 28 no. 3 (1998): 316–349.