Zambian pentecostal congregation


Corruption, apart from HIV/AIDS, is the most notorious epidemic that has encumbered progress and eroded the post-independence gains of many African countries. This epidemic has destroyed the socio-economic fibre of many countries and reduced millions of people to destitution. Although many African countries have declared HIV/AIDS 'public enemy number one', few have accorded corruption the same status. Zambia is one of the few sub-Saharan countries that have officially prioritised the fight against corruption, an epidemic that had seen most Zambians living below the poverty line.

When Levy Mwanawasa assumed office in 2001 he immediately declared a 'Zero Tolerance Against Corruption'. Consequently, he instituted an Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate cases of corruption and prosecute the culprits. All this gave the Mwanawasa government a façade of public accountability and good governance.[1]

What makes this issue intriguing is the fact that Mwanawasa's predecessor Frederick Chiluba declared Zambia a 'Christian Nation' in October 1996, a declaration that was later reaffirmed by Mwanawasa.[2] This declaration provided Pentecostals a moral platform to penetrate the country's political sphere and become a relevant social force. Given the fact the Pentecostal identity of Chiluba did not prevent corruption, mismanagement, etc., all this turned to be a farce.[3] It would appear either that Chiluba only exploited the support of Pentecostals for sectional interest ends or that Pentecostals do not seem to have formulated a critical opinion about governance.


The problem this research will attempt to address is the situation outlined in the preceding paragraphs, namely, the vitality and visibility of congregational ethos in a corrupt environment. Pentecostalism in Zambia presently constitutes a major social movement and Pentecostal spirituality continues to affect millions of citizens in various ways.[4] Pentecostal and charismatic congregations are normally classified as hermeneutic/holistic congregations whose principle and strategy is the Spirit and the ethos of the congregation respectively. Spirit-led or holistic congregations are becoming an emerging field of study within the broader context of congregational studies. Such congregations are centrifugal and focussed on the immediate community. Thus, the community engagement of holistic congregation is called holistic ministry (Stokes & Roozen 1991). In Zambia, the association and identification of hermeneutic/holistic congregations (in this case Pentecostal & charismatic congregations) with corrupt practices and public officials has not been taken lightly by a lot of people. From this contextual information, the question that immediately comes to mind is: How can a Pentecostal congregation be a beacon of light within a corrupt community?


This study examines one Pentecostal congregation with the aim to provide insight as to how the culture and contextual theology of this congregation relate to the fight against corruption. This is not an exploration on corruption and Pentecostals per se but on the link between trust, participation & membership in church congregations, erosion/bonding of social capital (SC) and corruption. My research shall investigate how congregational culture helps shape one congregation's orientation toward corruption behaviour. The research shall focus on the processes involved in creating and maintaining a religious environment that affirms or rejects corruption among its members and in the society, with an eye to understanding how the congregation is able to function as "the salt of the earth", enabling the congregation to integrate religion with the social challenges facing its members. Thus, the research seeks to investigate whether the fight against corruption in the congregation is seen as in/consistent with, or external/internal to, the congregation's moral and ethical traditions. This is an area that has been neglected in theological research, but one that surely needs examination, given the effect of corruption on the economy and lives of the people in Zambia.

I shall focus on congregational culture because, as Hendriks (2004) rightly notes, congregational culture and identity is a gateway to understand a congregation's personality and culture, how the congregation manages changes and transition and how the congregation confronts difficult theological and pastoral issues (2004: 106).

Most studies pay more attention to the social networks and material resources that churches offer, while other studies focus on the religious oratory styles of individual clergy. This is particular true for studies of black congregations (Pattillo-McCoy 1998:771). These commonly studied elements alone, however, cannot explain how a congregation is able to resolve the perceived dichotomy between a congregation's teaching and the practical challenges of moral uprightness. Thus, the cultural framework of the congregation must also be considered. Studying the cultural model of a congregation that is facing the dilemma of how to minister to people living in a corrupt environment enables us to see the relationship between the congregation's contextual theology and the problem of corruption.

In my research I shall use the Maranatha Pentecostal Assemblies Of God (Maranatha PAOG hereafter) in Kitwe, Zambia, as a case study to understand how this congregation's culture and contextual theology helps it to deal with the problem of corruption, and how it bridges the divide between the lives of congregation members and the larger social and political realities. With reference to Maranatha PAOG the purpose will be to:

  1. Investigate how Maranatha PAOG in a local church setting engages with the internal and external corruption, through an analysis of their practices, preaching and beliefs.
  2. Explore Maranatha PAOG's response to societal and political questions and practices of corruption within a social capital framework;
  3. Reflect on the critical contribution Maranatha PAOG can make to Zambia's fight against corruption.
  4. Enhancing the knowledge on congregations as investors in social capital.


The purpose of the research is to investigate the dynamics and complexities of the relationship between (SC) and corruption in a Pentecostal congregation. The research goes beyond simple description of the members' perception of corruption by exploring the role played by the congregation's culture and contextual theology in the members' attitude towards corruption.

This has generated the following research question:

How does the culture and contextual theology of a Pentecostal congregation relate to the fight against corruption against the background of social capital?

In the context of Maranatha PAOG congregation I shall ask four overarching questions:

  1. As individuals, how do the Maranatha PAOG members perceive and act on corruption within and outside the congregation?
  2. What is the level of corruption within the congregation? How transparent and accountable is the Maranatha PAOG about financial resources?
  3. What implications could this have for members' perception and acting on corruption within and outside the congregation?
  4. How do the people outside Maranatha PAOG perceive the congregation's practices as regards corruption?

Question one seeks to examine individual behaviour in the face of corruption and the direct effects of this scourge on the poor. This is important because studies by Mireille Razafindrakoto and Francois Roubaud (2007) have shown that "the poor, who are as sensitive as the rest of the population to the reprehensible nature of corruption, are more often victims of corruption in their routine dealings with the administration and the public services. Secondly, the poorest groups affected by corruption tend to become discouraged and give in to it more easily" (Razafindrakoto & Roubaud 2007: iii).

Question two addresses the possible problem of corruption within the congregation. Some congregations have a lot of resources from members' contributions. Some of the pastors live affluently and this has led to despondency within the congregations. This is coupled by the lack of financial accountability and transparency. This phenomenon needs to be investigated given the fact that corruption has become endemic in the public institutions in Zambia.

Question three is a continuation of question two in the sense that it will investigate the effect on financial accountability on the members' attitude towards corruption. If there is no financial accountability in the congregation what effect does this have on the members' attitude towards corruption? In other words the question addresses the emic or the insider perspective of the congregation's accountability and level of corruption.

Question four seeks to discover the etic or the outsider perspective of the congregation's accountability and level of corruption. How do the non-members view the congregation's engagement with corruption? Here the non-members refer to the people who do not attend the congregation's services and activities on a regular basis and whose allegiance and loyalty are outside the congregation.



According to James Scott there are three types of definitions of corruption: legal norms, public opinion, and the public interest. Public interest approach - "identifies improper behaviour of the part of the political or administrative officials as that which goes against the public interest" (Sandholtz & Koetzle, 2000). In the public opinion approach - "public officials sacrifice the general interest in order to favour specific groups in return for private rewards" (Sandholtz & Koetzle, 2000).

Heidenheimer provided the ground-breaking distinction between definitions of corruption that are "public-office-centred", "market centred", and "public-interest centred" (Heidenheimer, 1989: 11; cf. also Heidenheimer & Johnston, 2002: 2-14). Public-office-centred definitions of corruption emphasise the violation of rules by officials and are legalistic by nature. Corruption is seen as behaviour that deviates from normal duties or violates rules (Kupendah, 1995).

Market-centred definitions of corruption are based mainly on principle-agent models. Corrupt situations are those in which the interest of a principal cannot fully control what the agent does (Goldsmith, 1999: 866). Corruption is a rational behaviour of maximising profit by a public official.

Public- interest-centred-definitions of corruption try to overcome the deficiencies of the public-office-centred definitions and regard corruption as conflicting with common interest. Here, society defines both corruption and the public interest. The critics of these theories claim that according to public-centred definitions, illegal actions can be justified if they promote the common interest (Anderson, 2002: 28).

In my research I intend to examine the perception of the members of Maranatha PAOG of corruption within and outside the congregation. A definition that emphasises only the political/office/legal dimension of corruption would not help us understand why individuals engage themselves in corrupt transactions.

Commenting on the World Bank's definition of corruption, Marquette and Singh lamented: "There is no sense of the moral complexity surrounding decisions to act corruptly or not; indeed, morality has been stripped away from much of the contemporary debate about corruption, as it has been from this definition" (Marquette & Singh, 2006: 7). Wright and Simpkins also pointed out that "corruption is above all a moral problem ... (Wright & Simpkins 1963, in Marquette & Singh, 2006: 7-8). Williams concurs "Before it became subject to the rigours of modern social science, corruption was used primarily as a term of moral condemnation ..." (Williams 1999, in Marquette & Singh, 2006: 7-8).

In this research corruption will be understood as any activity motivated by private interest, which violates the binding rules of distribution which refers not only to the letter of the law, but also to norms recognised as binding by society or the system's official norms (Tarkowski, 1989, in Onukwufor, 2006: 12). Corrupt activities are also those activities regarded by society as illegitimate and contradictory to the logic and values of the system.

Social Capital

Social capital is a relatively new concept. Scholars from diverse backgrounds have researched it and as a result, there are many different definitions that reflect the discipline and background of the researcher. There are three approaches that characterise studies on social capital. One is the egocentric or bridging (external) approach focuses on the benefits of each subject when entering a set of interpersonal relations. Conversely, the sociocentric (internal) approach emphasises on the broader community (Adler, Kwon, 2000.) The egocentric approach treats social capital as a source of benefit that an individual will gain by becoming a part of some external network.

Social capital is often understood as the intensity of relationships among the members of community, which is characterised by widespread mutual trust, collective actions and respect for (shared) norms. Participation in social and religious groups has been shown to reduce corruption. Apart from that, social capital can lead to higher level of perceived corruption when it discourages trust and cooperation towards outsiders, and also imposes peer pressure on the in-group members to reciprocate in a corrupt exchange.

My understanding of social capital is captured by Nan Lin when he defined social capital as "investment in social relations with expected returns in the marketplace ... In this approach, capital is seen as a social asset by virtue of actors' connections and access to resources in the network or groups of which they are members" (Lin, 2001: 18).

Contextual Theology

In his analysis of con textual theology and the 'Emerging Church' Roger Oakland reckons that if the congregation wants to succeed "the Bible has to be looked at through entirely different glasses, and Christianity needs to be open to a new type of faith" (Oakland, 2010, [online]). To some congregational leaders this means that the methods must change lest the congregation exposes itself to premature obsolescence (Oakland, 2010, [online]). Describing the changes taking place in his congregation, Doug Pagitt wrote:

At Solomon's Porch, sermons are not primarily about my extracting truth from the Bible to apply to people's lives. In many ways the sermon is less a lecture or motivational speech than it is an act of poetry-of putting words around people's experiences to allow them to find deeper connection in their lives... So our sermons are not lessons that precisely define belief so much as they are stories that welcome our hopes and ideas and participation (Pagitt 2005 in Oakland, 2010, [online]).

The change that Pagitt is describing can be called contextual theology, "that is, don't use the Bible as a means of theology or measuring rod of truth and standards by which to live; and rather than have the Bible mold the Christian's life, let the Christian's life mold the Bible" (Oakland, 2010 [online]). According to Scott Moreau one's definition of contextualisation depends on whether one prioritises scripture over the cultural setting or vice versa (Moreau 2005; in Van Rheenen 2006: 3). One who stresses scripture would define contextualisation as the translation of biblical meanings into contemporary cultural contexts. This means that the images, metaphors, rituals, and concepts are used in such a way that the message has an impact and can be understood by the people. In other words, "the Bible must be thought about, translated into and preached in categories relevant to the particular cultural context" (Carson 1987; in Van Rheenen 2006: 4).

When priority is given to cultural setting contextualisation refers to the search for God's message within the culture using the Bible as the guide. According to Don Carson this understanding of contextualisation "assigns control to the context; the operative term is praxis, which serves as a controlling grid to determine the meaning of Scripture" (Carson 1987; in Van Rheenen 2006: 4). The purpose of this endeavour is to discover what God is already doing in the culture and not to bring the Gospel message to the cultural context.

According to David Hesselgrave and Ed Rommen contextualisation is: the attempt to communicate the message of the person, works, Word, and will of God in a way that is faithful to God's revelation, especially as put forth in the teaching of Holy Scripture, and that is meaningful to respondents in their respective cultural and existential contexts (Hesselgrave & Rommen 1989; in Van Rheenen 2006: 5-6).

According to Hesselgrave and Rommen contextualisation involves:

  1. revelation (God's communication of eternal truth in human linguistic and cultural categories);
  2. interpretation ("the reader's or hearer's perception of the intended meaning"); and
  3. application (including how "the interpreter formulates the logical implications of his understanding of the biblical text" and how he "decides to accept the validity of the text's implications" by totally accepting it, accepting some parts and rejecting others, or superimposing his own meanings upon the text (Hesselgrave & Rommen 1989; in Van Rheenen 2006: 6).

Emphasising the importance of contextualisation, Dean Flemming said:

Every church in every particular place and time must learn to do theology in a way that makes sense to its audience while challenging it at the deepest level. In fact, some of the most promising conversations about contextualization today (whether they are recognized as such or not) are coming from churches in the West that are discovering new ways of embodying the gospel for an emerging postmodern culture (Femming 2005 in Oakland, 2010 [online])..

Congregational Studies

Congregational research is not exactly a new paradigm in research. It is a paradigm that has been steadily growing in leaps and bounds since the 70s and recently and is slowly becoming central in religious and theological studies today. In recent years a lot studies have shown that congregations play a pivotal role in shaping the individual attitudes and the societal values. Whilst the role of the congregations in the society is indisputable, the process or the manner in which this takes place depends on the social, political environment of the congregation. Each congregation is unique and this uniqueness warrants a critical and disciplined study of the congregation's life within and without.

Brynolf Lyon defines congregational studies as "the study of the life of the local congregation" (Lyon 2000: 257). According to Lyon congregational study allows one to explore how the congregation works and worships. Congregational study is more that a casual gathering and testing of information about the life of a congregation (Carroll et. al. 1986: 8). In actual fact, congregational study breaks that routine or natural gathering of information (Carroll et. al. 1986: 8). Congregational study focuses on the external and internal turning points in the life of the congregation. These turning points include among other things the need for new ministries, new pastoral challenges, successes and failures of pastoral programmes etc. (Carroll et. al. 1986: 8), "In this way congregational study is a disciplined and critical look at the congregation's life and ministry" (Carroll et. al. 1986: 8).

Nancy Ammermann (1998) lists the features of congregations as follows: ecology, culture, resource and process (Ammerman et. al. 1998). In my research I shall employ these "frames" or "lenses" to the Maranatha PAOG congregation.


The research will be case study on the Maranatha PAOG congregation in Kitwe, Zambia. I have selected Maranatha PAOG as the single case study for sociological reasons. Maranatha PAOG is situated in Kitwe not very far from Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation where I am teaching. Again, Maranatha PAOG is one of the biggest Pentecostal congregations on the Copperbelt. The Copperbelt Province is a mineral-rich region in north central Zambia boasting of one of the richest sources of copper in the world. The majority of the towns in the region are associated with having copper mines and Kitwe is the second biggest city on the Copperbelt after Ndola.

Robert Yin describes a case study as "an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real life context using multiple sources of evidence" (Yin 1989: 22-26). Case studies, then, are concerned with how and why things happen with special focus on investigating the contextual realities (Anderson 1993: 152-160). Anderson says that a case study is not focused on the entire organisation but on a particular issue, feature or unit of analysis (Anderson 1993: 152-160). Case studies are used to explore and investigate particular phenomenon in-depth and holistically within its real-life through a contextual analysis of events or conditions and their relationship to other social facts (Patton 1987: 18-20).

A case study has several advantages. First, it enables the researcher to gain a holistic view of a certain phenomenon or series of events... and can provide a round picture since many sources of evidence were used (Noor 2005: 1603). Second, the examination of the data is most often conducted within the situation in which the activity takes place (Zainal 2007: 4). Third, a case study provides an opportunity to understand the totality of an individual experience. Fourth, case study is also useful when the researcher has little or no possibility to control or manipulate the events. Fifth, as Jonathan Pratt says "case studies are very effective in explaining the reasons for a problem, the background of a situation, what happened and why" (Pratt 2007: 23).

Case study is relevant to my research because it will assist me to investigate how a particular congregational culture and contextual theology relate to the problem of corruption. My purpose is to ask the questions that lead to an understanding of the nature and complexity of the processes taking place within the congregation.

With reference to Maranatha PAOG a single case study will allow:

  1. Ample space to discuss the congregation's engagement in context rather than abstractly.
  2. The flexibility to choose whatever combination of methods best suits the research problem.
  3. Space to highlight differences and contests over practices and beliefs that exist within Maranatha PAOG.
  4. A detailed, micro-level research that is focussed on depth rather than breadth.

Although, the Maranatha PAOG case study is not normative it is diagnostic because it will help us better understand how and why Zambia's Pentecostal congregations are engaging with society and with special reference to the problem of corruption.


Guba and Lincoln contend that before considering the question of research method one has to consider the "basic belief system or worldview that guides the investigator" (Guba & Lincoln 1994: 105). This question is important because different methods have different epistemological positions. According to Pratt, "These "basic beliefs" are at best statements of faith ... They are starting points that dictate the use of any methodological instrument" (Pratt 2007: 16). The assumptions that most clearly reveal the basic beliefs that lie behind and support the research are: ontological, epistemological, axiological, methodological, and rhetorical.

  1. Ontological. "What is the form or nature of reality and, therefore, what is there that can be known about it?"
  2. Epistemological. "What is the nature of the relationship between the knower or would-be knower and what can be known?"
  3. Methodological. "How can the inquirer (would-be-knower) go about finding out whatever he or she believes can be known?" (Guba & Lincoln 1994: 108).
  4. Axiology. "What is intrinsically worthwhile about this knowledge?" (Herron & Reason 1997: 7).

My focus congregation is a congregation that is in a position to have an influence on the quality of life of the members of the local community. The most powerful tool for understanding congregational dynamics and that is applicable to understanding the experience of another is the qualitative-ethnographic research, specially, the case study methodology.

Ethnography is a systematic study of a particular group or phenomenon, based upon extensive fieldwork. The foundational question in ethnography is: What are the cultural characteristics of this group of people or of this cultural scene? Since ethnography is originally an anthropological discipline, the concept of culture is very important indeed.

In practical theology it is understood as a way of 'swimming' in the theological and cultural waters of a people "to get the undercurrents in the life of the community ..." (Moschella 2008: 6). Moschella says "Ethnography as a pastoral practice involves opening your eyes and ears to understand the ways in which people practice their faith" (2008: 4). Studying the undercurrents of the community will not make them subside but will just make them less mysterious.

The other distinctive element of ethnographic research is its focus on cultural-interpretation "Cultural interpretation involves the ability to describe what the researcher has heard and seen within the framework of the social group's view reality" (Fetterman 1989: 28).

Cultural interpretation is only possible if data is collected in natural settings, that is, in fieldwork. Ethnographic fieldwork involves documenting people's beliefs and practices from the people's own perspective. Fieldwork approach is motivated by the belief that peoples' beliefs and practices cannot be divorced from their context. This means that ethnography interpreters culture from the emic or the insider's perspective of reality and also from an etic or the outsider's or the external perspective. The ethnographer's task is not only to include insiders' meanings, but to translate these meanings into concepts that can be understood by individuals outside the society. James Spradley said that ethnographic research helps us understand "how other people see their experience" (Spradley 1979: iv). To accomplish that goal, Spradley continues, "rather than studying people, ethnographic means learning from people" (Spradley 1979: 3).

The main tool in ethnographic research is observation. Ethnographic observation is more than gazing, watching or looking at a phenomenon. In ethnographic observation the researcher is 'interested' in understanding and interacting with the phenomenon in order to understand the insider, or emic experience. Ethnographic observation is one of the most powerful tools in understanding congregational life (Thumma 1998: 203). "This method allows the researcher to detect and participate firsthand in subtle nonverbal patterns of interaction, symbolic rituals, and power relations" (Thumma 1998: 203; cf. also Bless & Achola 1990: 86-87). It also provides a scientific interpretation of the "works" and "fruits" of congregational life (Thumma 1998: 203).

Another ethnographic tool is the interview. As Moschella declared "Qualitative interviewing is one of the hallmark methods in ethnographic research" (Moschella 2008: 66). Interviews are different from conversations in that they are not mere question-and-answer sessions. Unlike a conversation an interview is formal and has a purpose and produces results that has social value (Swinton & Mowat 2006: 64). According to Thumma there are structured-interviews, unstructured-interviews, schedule-structured interviews and semi-structured interviews (Thumma 1998:206). A structured interview takes place when each question is planned, written in advance and asked in exactly the same way. In an unstructured interview the questions are general and they allow the respondent to be flexible in his or her answering. A schedule-structured interview is basically a verbal questionnaire that asks a set of questions with a choice of a few fixed responses (Thumma 1998:206).

I shall rely on participant observation for data collection, but also collect data through semi-structured and non-scheduled interview interviews that give a lot of freedom to the respondents to manoeuvre. I shall also analyse the content of sermons and organisational documents


Pentecostal and Charismatic movements constitute an important part of the socio-cultural lives of the Zambian people whose lives continue to revolve round the claims of supernatural involvements in the country's affairs. In fact, media reports about the activities of Pentecostal and Charismatic movements continue to dominate the pages of the print media, and Pentecostals continue to dominate the electronic media with their activities: sermons, healing and miracle services, breakthrough programmes, etc.

Despite the large and growing influence of the Pentecostal movement, there is relatively little research available that gauges the influence of Pentecostal congregations on Zambian public life. Specifically, there are no qualitative studies on the political and civic views of individuals involved in these congregations. I believe that the Pentecostal churches have an enormous potential to influence public morality among their members and in Zambia as a whole. It is this quest of trying to locate the role of religion in the SC process, - in fostering accountability and good governance - that has motivated this research.


Chapter 1 will explain the central theme: corruption in the social capital framework. It will explain the context of crisis and central questions. I will outline a suitable research method for conducting a case study of how this particular Pentecostal church is responding to the problem of corruption.

Chapter 2 will begin with a definition of the concept of corruption, its structure and guises. It will examine the concepts of poverty/prosperity and SC. I shall also review literature that analyses the relationship between religion & corruption, poverty/prosperity.

Chapter 3 will discuss the corruption situation in the context of Lusaka-Zambia examining and analysing the approaches of the government & NGOs.

Chapter 4 will examine the responses of the UCZ & RCC in Lusaka-Zambia to the problem of 'corruption crisis". It will also analyse how each has been affected by the crisis & how each group interprets the crisis and provides a solution.

Chapter 5 will be descriptive: I shall examine Maranatha PAOG's emergence in Zambia and its distinctiveness as a Zambian megachurch. In particular I shall then examine the Maranatha PAOG congregation, its teaching/doctrine/theology, customs, membership, identity, culture & practices.

Chapter 6 will be explorative: I shall draw the Maranatha PAOG case study together, draw on BLCI's members' response to & perception of corruption within & outside the congregation, as revealed in in-depth interviews & ethnographic analysis of Maranatha PAOG's beliefs and practices. I shall then reflect on the case study in the framework of social capital in Lusaka-Zambia.

Chapter 7 shall outline some implications for developing a Zambian anti-corruption project.


Research on Pentecostal congregations can be frustrating to a researcher who is not a member of the congregation. Although I am not a Pentecostal (& have no experience or prior contact with Pentecostalism) I do hope that the participants will understand the nature of the research namely, that the research is descriptive and exploratory. The desire to carry out this research has been motivated by two factors. Firstly, currently Zambia is currently undergoing a period of 'corruption crisis', despite its improved position in the Transparency International corruption table. Secondly, the churches in Zambia have been fairly visible in the fight against corruption. The United Church of Zambia (UCZ) and the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), in particular, have been making their own contribution, through pastoral letters and other programmes, to the fight against corruption. I have decided to do a research on religious congregations because the field is still very virgin in Zambia in terms of research. However, a research of this magnitude depends on the ethnographic and observation skills of the researcher. I would like to acknowledge that my research skills have these deficiencies that I know the PThU will help me overcome through seminars and courses.


A research of this magnitude and importance cannot be carried out without consulting and collaborating with government and non-governmental organisations. Some studies have been carried out on the same issue in Zambia. I intend to work closely with some of these organisations since they could assist me with valuable information. In the meantime I have identified the following organisations:

  1. Transparency International-Zambia: An NGO with extensive focus on anti-corruption and good governance.
  2. The Anti-Corruption Commission & Taskforce on Corruption: Government agencies that investigate and prosecute corrupt officials.
  3. Christian Coalition: a movement to promote morality, accountability and good governance.


This research will extend, hopefully, current knowledge of the grassroots involvement of church congregations in promoting public accountability. It will also add to an emerging body of scholarship providing a rationale for Pentecostal engagement in the society, and elucidation of the form their response to public issues could take. More broadly, the research will seek to develop a better understanding of the relationship between congregational ethics and corruption that will be useful to the fight against anti-corruption non-accountability on a community level.


  1. This research project will result in a doctoral dissertation to be published as a monograph.
  2. Articles to be published in scholarly journals and presented to international conferences.
  3. A workshop on Pentecostalism & Public Life will be held in Mindolo Ecumenical

Foundation, Kitwe.


The study will involve information that is very personal and sensitive in nature. Consequently, I shall follow strict-procedure that will meet international requirements of informed consent and privacy of information. Precautions will include the requirement that names of participants are never disclosed and are excluded from all data analysis.



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  1. In 2000 Zambia was ranked 57 out of 99 corrupt countries in an annual survey conducted by Transparency International. The 'Corruption Perception Index (CPI), which analyses corruption on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being "clean", ranked Zambia 2.6 in 2005.
  2. Under Chiluba Zambia enacted several laws that were designed to curb corruption: (1) The Anti-Corruption Commission-1996; (2) The Electoral Commission Act-1996; (3) Parliamentary & Ministerial Code of Conduct Act. Apart from the "zero-tolerance" Mwanawasa constituted a 'Five-Institution Committee' to draft a National Corruption Prevention Policy & Implementation Strategy.
  3. Chiluba was an avowed Pentecostal who claimed to have received the gift of tongues at a crusade conducted by Pentecostal evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. After taking office, Chiluba invited a group of Pentecostal ministers to "cleanse" the presidential palace of evil spirits and publicly dedicated Zambia and its government to "the Lordship of Jesus Christ" (Freston 2001: 156-59).
  4. According to recent figures from the World Christian Database (2006), pentecostals and charismatics now represent 16.6% (in 1970 they were less than 5%), of Africa's population of nearly 890 million people. In 2000 it was estimated that Christians were about 78% of the Zambian population of which 20% of that were Pentecostals & Charismatics.

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