The Politics of Religious Sound, Religious Diversity and Conflict in Ghana


Dr. Justice Arthur

Research Area:


This research investigates the ambivalent relationship between Evangelical Christian groups and traditional African religions and cultures. Specifically, the project examines Christian charismatic groups in Ghana who frequently claim to be authentic representation and interpretation of African Christianity, yet these new churches that sprang up in the last forty years repudiate many aspects of African indigenous cultures and practices, thereby generating tensions and conflicts between their members and those belonging to African indigenous religious formations. In the last decade, with the numerical growth of these new churches, tensions and disagreements between them and indigenous religious formations have often resulted into bloody crises, sometimes in fatalities as well. This study therefore aims to examine critically the complex encounter between the Charismatic churches and traditional African cultures in order to understand the basis for these conflicts. A qualitative case study method has been adopted in this research. The work involves two key Charismatic churches, namely the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) and Lighthouse Chapel International (LCI), in an attempt to understand their beliefs, the doctrines they espouse and their relationship with African cultures. Leaders and youth groups from the Ga-Dangbe ethnic group in the Greater Accra Region will also be interviewed to provide updates to existing documented material.