The Resurgence of the African Traditional Shrines in a Neo-Pentecostal/Charismatic Religious Milieu in Ghana

AUTHOR : Francis Normanyo
ISSUE: February 2019 Volume 1 Number 1 Article 7
PAGES : 88-96
DOI : 10.32051/02211907

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Abstract

The African shrines have been sources of life and supports for the Africans before the emergence of Christianity. When Christianity emerged, it sought to provide alternative source of life and support as against the African shrines, leading to many forms of encounters between these traditions. In the encounter Christianity especially attempted to erase some of the core religious practices such as the veneration of the traditional shrines. Sacred groves were destroyed, community or family shrines were burnt and shrine custodians were converted into Christianity. Notwithstanding, many of the shrines remained but mostly in rural areas where the African traditions have remained strong. The church dominated the urban areas offering the life and support needs of the people. In the late 1970s the neo-Pentecostal/Charismatic churches emerged in the urban areas in Ghana to offer a form of support which the then church lacked. They came with a message on the prosperity gospel, which includes financial breakthrough, healing, deliverance from any form of oppression etc. Within this milieu of burgeoning of this typology of churches, there emerged the African traditional shrines with vitality and a message of financial prosperity, healing all diseases and vigorously advertising as in a scramble with the Neo-Pentecostals/Charismatics. What led to the resurgence of the African sacred shrines and how do they impact on the “clients” even in a Neo-Pentecostal/Charismatic milieu? The data will mainly be primary and secondary and will be used in a descriptive analysis. At the end the paper will reveal that the emergence of the Neo-Pentecostals/Charismatics and their activities led to the resurgence of these shrines with a more attractive message to the clients.

Author’s Biodata:FRANCIS NORMANYO, is a PhD student in Church History, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.