Abstract / Description of output
The public role of Christianity in Africa has gained increased attention from scholars. This article gives four snapshots of the responses of churches to COVID-19 in Africa in the early weeks of disease spread on the continent. In many countries, churches are at the forefront of formal and informal health delivery and disease control, through medical services and faith healing. An examination of different approaches of Christian communities to the pandemic shows the influence and the limits of Christian action as governments acted quickly to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Using research methods (remote interviews and surveys, and analysis of authors’ own denominations or congregations) consonant with physical distancing measures, the authors observed Churches attempting to carry out their mission as measures were put in place to arrest disease. They maintained worship services, moving them online. They helped Christians make sense of the pandemic and offered themselves as repositories of public trust. In some cases, however, they were less successful than they wished in carrying out their social responsibility because many of their institutions were closed as part of the measures to restrict the spread of disease.
Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)
- church response to COVID-19
- DR Congo
- South Africa