2. The Concept of Ministry of Religious Affairs
3. The Rise of MNGRA in Zambia
3.1. Seeking to Operationalize Chiluba’s Declaration
3.2. MNGRA Self-Understanding
3.3. ‘A Ministry from Heaven’: The Custodianship of Pentecostalism
4. Theology of Decolonial Reconstruction—Toward a Framework for MNGRA
Conflicts of Interest
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Among Zambians, the declaration is used as a shorthand description for the Christian nation.
Pendamentalism is a synthesis of selective Pentecostal philosophy and American Evangelical fundamentalism with its literalism and strict adherence to theological doctrines without sufficient regard for the humanity of others. This emerged as a reaction against modern theologies that promote the humanity of all people through contemporary instruments such as human rights, equality, justice and peaceful co-existence of all people regardless of religious (or no religious) background, race, gender, sexuality, and the like.
Chiluba created a Ministry Of Religious Affairs, which later became a Religious Affairs Desk under State House, with a Pentecostal pastor as Deputy Minister. It became dysfunctional after Chiluba handed power to Levi Mwanawasa.
Elsewhere I have demonstrated how Zambian Pentecostal have articulated their theology of nationality in ways that seeks to transformation the nation into a spiritual institution which is easily manipulated by politicians for their benefits (see Kaunda 2018).
Nimi Wariboko identifies about five basic theological paradigms that frame African Pentecostal engagement in politics, which are covenant, spiritualist, leadership, nationalist and developmental.
Rev Sumaili’s analysis is affirmed by the findings of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRC 2017) on the “commercialization of religion and abuse of people’s belief systems”. The 50-page report outlines 12 abuses see, “CRL Rights Commission’s Preliminary Report of the Hearings on Commercialisation of Religion and Abuse of People’s Belief Systems”.
“Angel’s refusal of entry into Zambia is mainly due to Godfridah Sumaili’s active role as a pastor in Bread of Life Church.” “It is all about jealousy and corruption, as we suspect that she is being unduly influenced by her man of God to further their selfish church interests” (Zambian Observer 2016). This argument does not reflect the reality on the ground, which is based on general grievances against these movements.
In this article, we are not dealing with the conversional theology of reconstruction that was proposal by the Kenyan theologian, Jess Mugambi and South African White theologian Charles Villa-Vicencio.
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