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The Visa God: Would-Be Migrants And The Instrumentalization Of Religion

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Chapter Summary

This chapter emphasizes an equally important but so far largely undocumented dimension of religious transnationalism - the role that religion plays in transnational migration before actual migration. It analyzes an important slice of sociological reality in contemporary Nigeria, a country at the hub of the current wave of emigration of young people (highly skilled and otherwise) from sub- Saharan Africa. The chapter draws on secondary data from books, newspapers, and newsmagazines published both on-line and in Nigeria. It examines the literature on transnationalism with specific reference to religion and describes how would-be migrants in Nigeria instrumentalize religion. The crux of our argument in the chapter is that while the transnational migration literature has adequately addressed the subject of the transnational religious activity of immigrants, the same thing cannot be said of the religious activity of the same immigrants before their departure from their home societies.

Keywords: instrumentalize religion; Nigeria; religious transnationalism; sub- Saharan Africa; would-be migrants



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