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Title: The transformation of Freetown Christianity, 1960-2000
Author: Thompson, Vitella A. D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 8555
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2015
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The purpose of this study is to investigate the transformation of Freetown Christianity with reference to different religious institutions for the last 40 years. As a prelude to the study, I will look at the religious, socio-economic and political background of the Christian Krio. This background will help us to understand the extent and type of change that have occurred in the last 40 years in the religious scene in Freetown. The thesis discusses the results of a survey on churches which showed that there has been a proliferation of churches during the period under review. The thesis examines the two most populated born-again churches, Jesus is Lord Ministry and Flaming Bible Church with the aim of bringing out their roles and contributions to the change which Freetown has been witnessing. A related interest in this study is the role of religion in the civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2002). The evidence suggests that Christian institutions displayed a positive response to the civil war by arranging venues for peace talks, providing relief and rehabilitation to displaced people and refugees. The thesis also shows that women have played a significant role in this transformation as founders and leaders of churches, roles which forty years ago were unheard of. The change in Freetown is also assessed by focusing on other religious institutions such as Bible Schools and colleges, deliverance schools and parachurch organisations to see their roles and impact on this change. The conclusions of the study is twofold: (1) there has been a fluid overlapping of religious identities among 'mainline' and Pentecostal (especially the charismatic ones) church members as the former tend to relinquish their membership or affiliation in the latter when they have achieved success in their social, economic, moral or physical problems. These problems are believed to be caused by the 'devil' who could only be attacked by the Pentecostal churches. (2) that increase in the establishment of Bible Schools and deliverance schools played a major role in this change.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral