Chapter

Striking a Balance: Christianity and the Challenges of Long-Term Human Security in Zimbabwe

Gladys Ganiel

in Religion and Human Security

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199827732
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950553 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827732.003.0010
Striking a Balance: Christianity and the Challenges of Long-Term Human Security in Zimbabwe

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African evangelical/Pentecostal/charismatic (EPC) Christians—previously dismissed by scholars as apolitical—are becoming increasingly active socially and politically. This chapter presents a case study of an EPC congregation in Harare. It demonstrates how the congregation provides short-term human security by responding to the needs of the poor, while at the same time creating space where people can develop the “self-expression values” necessary for long-term human security. The case study also demonstrates that even under authoritarian states, religious actors can actively choose to balance the immediate demands of short-term human security with the sometimes competing demands of long-term human security. Policymakers can benefit from a greater understanding of how religious actors strike this balance and from a greater appreciation of the variability, flexibility, and religious resources of EPC Christians in such contexts.

Keywords: African Christians; human security; Evangelical Christians; Pentecostal Christians; Charismatic Christians; congregation; self-expression; religion

Chapter.  7205 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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