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Changing Religious Affiliations: Factors Affecting Denominational Changes In Nyambene Synod, Kenya

Authors
  • Mwila, Bishop Alice
Type
Published Article
Journal
Holiness
Publisher
Sciendo
Publication Date
Oct 26, 2022
Volume
7
Issue
2
Pages
61–70
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2478/holiness-2021-0008
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Research Article
License
Green

Abstract

This paper explores the interaction between the Methodist Church in Kenya (MCK) and the neo-Pentecostal churches in the Nyambene Synod, Kenya, together with the influence of this interaction on the religious landscape. It examines changes in denominational affiliations affecting the Methodist Church, where a substantial number of (particularly young) members have moved to Pentecostal churches and movements in the region. This identifies factors affecting religious affiliation in the Nyambene Synod and the impact that changing affiliation has on the Methodist Church. Through qualitative empirical research, the study identifies three main factors that increasingly influence movements of Christians between churches: the contemporary consumer culture that emphasises personal choice, the understanding of ecclesial identity, and the relevance of the church to contemporary (Kenyan) society. The research challenges the MCK to reassess its offer within the contemporary religious marketplace, not by imitating Pentecostal churches, but by rediscovering its Wesleyan social holiness heritage.

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