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The Bonnke Effect: Encounters With Transnational Evangelism In Southeastern Nigeria

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Chapter Summary

Transnational evangelism is no longer a novel thing in the developing world, particularly in Nigeria, where some of the "new Pentecostal' groups owe a part of their credibility to their associations with religious personalities and churches from the West. Reinhard Bonnke began his evangelism in Africa with a crusade in 1975 in Botswana (Gifford 1987). From a humble beginning preaching to a few people, his crusades have grown to become sell-out events. This chapter arises from some critical reflections on one such recent crusade in Nigeria's southeast. The idea that Pentecostalism has thrived in Nigeria because it seems to address in a practical way people's existential realities is not just a reflection of the African sociocultural definition of the relationship between people and the supernatural. Many scholars have noted that Pentecostalism has been a global growth sector among Christian churches in the last few decades.

Keywords: Christian churches; Pentecostalism; Reinhard Bonnke; Southeastern Nigeria; transnational evangelism



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