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7 Nurtured From The Pulpit: The Emergence And Growth Of Malawi’S Democracy Movement

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses how democracy movements in Africa came about through a process of regime rupturing after the intervention of exogenous actors in the political arena. In the case of Malawi, the Catholic Church was such an actor when, in 1992, it intervened in the political arena by issuing a highly critical pastoral letter that challenged the legitimacy of the thirty-year dictatorship of the then president-for-life, Hastings Kamuzu Banda. The period between Malawi?s independence in 1964 and 1992 was characterized by tight control of the political space by the ruling elites. The immediate aftermath of ?Living our Faith? saw the creation of new civil society groups that aimed to promote and advance a democracy agenda. The fact that the interventions by the Malawi Catholic Church after 1992 did not elicit the same level of response as ?Living our Faith? can be attributed to the success of the original intervention.

Keywords: Africa; Catholic Church; democracy movements; Living our Faith; Malawi



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