The Christian churches and democracy in contemporary Africa

Richard Joseph*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Christianity’s relationship with the African continent, as in other parts of the world, has been marked by ambiguity and contradictions. Mission stations became an inherent part of the colonial establishment. The map of Christian influence in Africa overlapped with that of the colonial authorities, and its variations from one territory to another often reflected the strengths in the métropole of particular denominations. In most African countries, Christian groups have tended to provide general support for the contemporary democratic movement, couching their interventions in the framework of concerns for the physical as well as spiritual well-being of their parishioners. The Church in Zaire felt obliged to play more than a supportive role in the struggle for democratization because of the extensive economic mismanagement, corruption, political repression, and moral decay in the country. The bishops of Zaire believed that the fundamental cause of the country’s profound crisis lay in the “hybrid” nature of its political system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBody Politics
Subtitle of host publicationDisease, Desire, and the Family
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780429700064
ISBN (Print)9780367007829
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'The Christian churches and democracy in contemporary Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this