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Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa$
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Terence O. Ranger

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195174779

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195174779.001.0001

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 Evangelical Attitudes toward Democracy in Kenya

 Evangelical Attitudes toward Democracy in Kenya

(p.67) 2 Evangelical Attitudes toward Democracy in Kenya
Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa

Terence O. Ranger

John Karanja

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the sociotheological character of the main evangelical institutions in Kenya and how that character affects their political orientation. It also explores their participation in political developments since 1986. The institutions are classified into three categories: (1) “activist” institutions, or those institutions that have openly criticized some state activities; (2) “loyalist” institutions, or institutions that have allied themselves with the state; and (3) “Apolitical” institutions, or those that have largely kept aloof from politics. Five evangelical institutions are examined, including one panchurch umbrella organization from each of the first two categories. From the “activist” the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) is chosen; from the “loyalist”, the EFK. The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) represents the “activist” churches, the African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) the “loyalist” churches, and the Deliverance Church (DC) the “apolitical” churches. It is shown that Kenyan evangelicals are likely to remain polarized for a long time to come. As long as some evangelical churches continue to hold a theology that renders uncritical support to the government of the day, there is little hope of evangelicals coming together over issues of governance.

Keywords:   evangelicalism, Kenyan evangelicals, democracy, democratization, activism, NCCK, EFK, ACK, DC

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