Original Research

The ‘invisible enemy’ COVID-19 and the responses of Aladura churches in South West Nigeria

Babatunde A. Adedibu, Akinwumi A. Akindolie, Adeleke A. Olujobi
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 46, No 1 | a138 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v46i1.138 | © 2022 Babatunde A. Adedibu, Akinwumi A. Akindolie, Adeleke A. Olujobi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 September 2021 | Published: 12 April 2022

About the author(s)

Babatunde A. Adedibu, Department of Christian Religious Studies and Philosophy, Redeemer’s University, Ede, Nigeria
Akinwumi A. Akindolie, Redeemed Christian Bible College, Mowe, Redeemer’s University, Ede, Nigeria
Adeleke A. Olujobi, Redeemed Christian Bible College, Mowe, Redeemer’s University, Ede, Nigeria


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Abstract

The emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in December 2019, has changed the face of public health concerns across the globe. COVID-19 has multiplier effects on every facet of human endeavours. This study is situated within the health and religion discourse on African Christianity, particularly the Aladura (praying) churches. The aim of the study is examining the responses of African Indigenous Churches (Aladura churches) to COVID-19 in Southwest Nigeria using the Church of the Lord (Prayer Fellowship Worldwide (TCLPFW); Christ Apostolic Church (CAC); Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) and Cherubim and Seraphim Church (C&S) as microcosm of the Aladura movement. The study utilised qualitative research methodology. This includes interviews and participant observation as a primary source, while secondary sources entail review of relevant literatures on the subject of health and religion discourse. This research noted that with the advent of COVID-19, Aladura churches relied on prayers, and appropriated various approaches in their attempt to assuage the onslaught of COVID-19 amongst their adherents. Aladura churches have responded to modernity with the appropriation of technological tools in the sustenance and recruitment of their clientele before and during the COVID-19 lockdown. The emerging tension inevitably calls for reimagination of pastoral and religious care in an era of the pandemic. There is the urgent need for government and non-governmental agencies to collaborate with faith-based organisations (FBO) like Aladura churches due to perceived religious credibility, social and religious capital and by their adherents to address socio-economic and health related challenges in their communities.


Keywords

invisible enemy; COVID-19; health; religion; Aladura churches; Nigeria

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