Material Salvation: Healing, Deliverance, and “Breakthrough” in African Migrant Churches in Germany

Claudia Währisch-Oblau

in Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Healing

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780195393408
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894390 | DOI:
Material Salvation: Healing, Deliverance, and “Breakthrough” in African Migrant Churches in Germany

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Migrants from West and Central Africa, mostly Ghana and Nigeria, arrived in Germany in the 1980s. Migrant pentecostal churches are missionary bridgeheads with evangelistic calling, or reverse missions, towards German society. Migrants participate, as producers as well as consumers, in transnational communication networks, and migration drives the multi-directional, global circulation of ideas. Migrants believe the visible world in which they live is enclosed in an invisible world that influences everything in the visible world. Healing and prosperity are not blessings beyond salvation but express material salvation. Problems can only be solved by “supernatural breakthrough,” through “spiritual warfare” (“authority prayer” or “prayer of command,” since spoken words are powerful)—ideas of African as much as American origin. Evangelism is not communication of a message, but power encounter or power evangelism, as healing and deliverance fuel missionary outreach towards non-Christians. Migrants tailor evangelism methods to German sensibilities, for instance hosting musical Gospel concerts.

Keywords: African migrants; Germany; Nigeria; Ghana; material salvation; reverse missions; spiritual warfare; power encounter; power evangelism; deliverance

Chapter.  8258 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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