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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:African Pentecostal migrants in China: marginalization and the alternative geography of a mission theology
Author:Haugen, Heidi Østbø
Year:2013
Periodical:African Studies Review (ISSN 1555-2462)
Volume:56
Issue:1
Pages:81-102
Language:English
Geographic term:China
Subjects:Africans
Nigerians
migrants
Pentecostalism
Link:https://doi.org/10.1017/asr.2013.7
Abstract:The city of Guangzhou, China, hosts a diverse and growing population of foreign Christians. The religious needs of investors and professionals have been accommodated through government approval of a nondenominational church for foreigners. By contrast, African Pentecostal churches operate out of anonymous buildings under informal and fragile agreements with law-enforcement officers. The marginality of the churches is mirrored by the daily lives of the church-goers: Many are undocumented immigrants who restrain their movements to avoid police interception. In contrast to these experiences, the churches present alternative geographies where the migrants take center stage. First, Africans are given responsibility for evangelizing the Gospel, as Europeans are seen to have abandoned their mission. Second, China is presented as a pivotal battlefield for Christianity. And finally, Guangzhou is heralded for its potential to deliver divine promises of prosperity. This geographical imagery assigns meaning to the migration experience, but also reinforces ethnic isolation. The analysis is based on in-depth interviews, participant observation, and video recordings of sermons in a Pentecostal church in Guangzhou with a predominately Nigerian congregation. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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