Christianity’s Role in Dispute Resolution in Mozambique

in Social Sciences and Missions
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Religion is often portrayed as either a source of conflict or as a source of peace and reconciliation. In this article, we explore the role of religion in day-to-day conflicts in different regions of Mozambique – in Maputo and Gorongosa. We analyse the factors that are of importance in determining whether religious mediation, here mainly by Pentecostal Christians, unites or divides people. It appears that pastors who intervene directly between conflicting parties tend to aim at reconciliation, whereas pastors who intervene in an indirect manner tend to sharpen and magnify divisions between people.

Christianity’s Role in Dispute Resolution in Mozambique

in Social Sciences and Missions



  • 11

    See for example M. Burchardt“Challenging Pentecostal Moralism: Erotic Geographies, Religion and Sexual Practices among Township Youth in Cape Town”Culture Health and SexualityVol. 13 (6) 2011 pp. 669–683; For Mozambique see V. Agadjanian and C. Menjívar “Fighting down the scourge building up the church: Organisational constraints in religious involvement with HIV/AIDS in Mozambique” Global Public Health Vol. 6 (sup. 2) 2011 pp. 148–162.

  • 13

    See e.g. J.W. Fernandez“African Religious Movements”Annual Review of Anthropology Vol. 7 1978 pp. 195–234; B.G.M. Sundkler Bantu Prophets in South Africa London: Oxford University Press 1961 [1948]; R. Horton “African Conversion” Africa Vol. 41 (2) 1971 pp. 85–108; J. Comaroff Body of Power Spirit of Resistance: The Culture and History of a South African People Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1985; B. Meyer “Christianity in Africa: From African Independent to Pentecostal-Charismatic Churches” Annual Review of Anthropology Vol. 33 2004 pp. 447–474. For Mozambique see G. Seibert “But the Manifestation of the Spirit is Given to Every Man to Profit Withal: Zion Churches in Mozambique since the Early 20th Century” Le Fait Missionnaire Vol. 17 2005 pp. 125–150.

  • 14

    E. Morier-Génoud“Of God and Caesar. The Relation Between Christian Churches and the State in Post-Colonial Mozambique, 1974–1981”Le Fait Missionnaire Vol. 3 1996 pp. 1–79. The Protestant churches where most of Frelimo’s leaders originated from were closer to the state but they too suffered from the hostile policy towards religion see T. Cruz e Silva “Evangelicals and Democracy in Mozambique” in T. Ranger (ed.) Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa Oxford: Oxford University Press 2008 pp. 164.; see also I. Lundin Negotiating Transformation: Urban Livelihoods in Maputo Adapting to Thirty Years of Political and Economic Changes Göteborg: Department of Human and Economic Geography Göteborg University 2007 pp. 107–108; also P. Pinto “Jehovah’s Witnesses in Colonial Mozambique” Le Fait Missionnaire Vol. 17 2005 pp. 61–124.

  • 19

    L. van de Kamp“Afro-Brazilian Pentecostal Re-Formations of Relationships across Two Generations of Mozambican Women”Journal of Religion in AfricaVol. 42 (4) 2012 pp. 433–452.

  • 23

    B. Meyer“Christianity in Africa”; M. Engelke, “Past Pentecostalism: Notes on Rupture, Realignment, and Everyday Life in Pentecostal and African Independent Churches”Africa Vol. 80 (2) 2011 pp. 177–199. See also J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu Contemporary Pentecostal Christianity: Interpretations from an African Context Eugene OR: Wipf & Stock Regnum Studies in Global Christianity 2013.

  • 56

    See also P. Freston“The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God …” p. 46; P. Birman “Future in the Mirror: The Media Evangelicals and Politics in Rio de Janeiro” in B. Meyer and A. Moors (eds.) Religion Media and the Public Sphere Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press 2006 p. 65.

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