African Initiated Churches, African Independent Churches, and African Indigenous Churches

Protestant churches in Africa with the areas of strongest participation being in Kenya, Nigeria, and Southern Africa.  Most often they arose as disagreements between African Christians and Western Missionaries.  Although many have been influenced by the western missionaries, the difficulty was found in the African traditions being blended with Christianity.

While many of them share cultural assumptions, most reject the traditions of African religion as evil.  The growing number of churches can be attributed to the charismatic feel of their religious practice.  For example, they may all wear the same color robe with the same pattern or design on them to distinguish themselves from the more traditional religions.

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They still demonstrate a certain amount of syncretism and use it as a foundation to bring African Christians together.  In an effort to be identified with Christianity they include “Holy Spirit” in the name for some of their churches.
The premise for the use of “Holy Spirit” is that they exist as an intentional act of the Holy Spirit who, they believe, is able to move about and do whatever he wants to do unencumbered by traditions or any other man-made parameters.
The role it plays in the 21st century has been one of theological education and church administration.  However, the one thing that causes them to grow at such a rapid pace is the practice of healing and promised protection from evil.
They declare a message of hope to the African people by preaching Christian values that include healing and protection from evil spirits, and by so doing they offer implicit theology that appeals to the African people.


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