Publisher: University of Port Harcourt

The Church and Politics In The African Context

John O. Obineche
KEYWORDS: Church, Politics, African Context

ABSTRACT:

A dominant issue in the religio-political discourse in Africa has remained the issue of the Church and politics. The yet-to-be answered question is the role of the Church in such a political struggle that has resulted in the economic, social, religious and ethical crises in Africa. What is the expected relationship between the Church and politics in Africa that should enhance the church image and witness in the politically devastated African context? In spite the general negative notion of the church concerning politics, many church denominations in history, Catholics, Puritans and Protestants inclusive, have experimented two extreme relationships-marriage of Church and Politics, or separation of the two. While each has its merits and flaws, there is an urgent need for an enhanced positive relationship between the church and politics in the African context in order to arrive at a conducive political, Social, Economic and ethical climate in Africa. There are potential dangers that are capable of destroying and destabilizing the entire African continent if politics is left to be managed by the world alone or the other way round. The church, on its own merit, enjoys a dual citizenship on earth namely: the earthly and the spiritual or the secular and the sacred. For Africa to experience peace, harmony and progress, there need to be a theo-political view of government or administration that will operate on the basis of unity in diversity. This will make the church to retain its vision, mission and identify in influencing the world (Politics) in the African context. In its democratization form, scholars have opted for a theo-democracy as the best political system for the African context.


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