The progressive Pentecostalist conception of development within an African context of poverty

Frederick N/A Kakwata


This article is a literary study; it seeks to explore the progressive Pentecostalists’ conception of development in a sub-Saharan African context of poverty. This investigation is based on ethnographic studies conducted in different parts of Africa. The present study also aims to analyse the notion of evil spirits’ work in relation to poverty and underdevelopment, notions raised by the new conception of development.

It is argued that Western development theories that were implemented in Africa failed miserably to clear up the problem of poverty and underdevelopment. In the midst of crises and despair, a new trend of Pentecostalism emerged that promotes a completely new conception of development, which has a spiritual focus. The latter resonates strongly with the African worldview, reflects the biblical truth, and demonstrates that the ultimate cause of poverty as fundamentally spiritual, which implies the solution should be similar.

For that reason, recent studies reveal that the movement has more success in addressing poverty than the strategies of NGOs. However, this success is limited to an individual level. This means the structural problem responsible for the impoverishment of the masses in Africa is not addressed directly. Therefore, an all-inclusive focus is needed that could pave the way to sustainable social and economic change in Africa.


Progressive Pentecostalism, development, poverty, Africa, spirituality, spiritual warfare


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