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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The role of Christian churches in political conflict in Lesotho
Author:Letsie, Tlohang
Periodical:African Security Review (ISSN 2154-0128)
Geographic term:Lesotho
political conflicts
political history
Church history
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/10246029.2014.993669
Abstract:This paper examines the role played by Christian churches in political conflict in Lesotho. It argues that Christianity has played changing roles in the conflict that has characterised Lesotho's politics since 1970. At first, the two largest Christian denominations - the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) and the Lesotho Evangelical Church (LEC) - were associated with the rival Basotho National Party and Basutoland Congress Party (and its offshoots) respectively. The differences between the two denominations trickled down and became a source or intensifier of political conflict. All this happened while the leadership of the two churches worked together, amid high mistrust, within the Christian Council of Lesotho. The political polarity between the 'Congress' and the 'Nationalist' streams subsided with the splits within the Congress parties and subsequent formation of new parties. On the other hand, mistrust between the leadership of the RCC and the LEC subsided following a change of leadership in the two churches, together with one in the Anglican Church of Lesotho in the first decade of the 21st century. Following these developments, there ceased to be a link between Christian denominations and political conflict in the country. The Christian churches have recently become the most reliable mediators in political conflict. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]