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Holy Strangers

Holy Strangers This article explores the religious lives of migrants in the African diaspora by focusing on the case of the Missão Evangélica Lusófona (MEL), a congregation settled on the outskirts of Lisbon and formed by migrants from Guinea-Bissau and other Portuguese-speaking countries. MEL is portrayed as an example of how Christian faith enables African believers to cross transnational spaces and to create new spiritual placements in the local environment they inhabit. Against the background of postcolonial Portugal, MEL’s mission discourses are analysed as narratives of moral empowerment that invert the stigmatizing representations of African migrants expressed by their Portuguese-born neighbours. Through these narratives, it is suggested, Evangelical Guinean migrants are able to face their historical and social condition of marginality, by developing a spiritual citizenship grounded in the idea of a Lusophone space of mission. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Diaspora Brill

Holy Strangers

African Diaspora , Volume 10 (1-2): 26 – Jan 1, 2018

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1872-5457
eISSN
1872-5465
DOI
10.1163/18725465-01001003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article explores the religious lives of migrants in the African diaspora by focusing on the case of the Missão Evangélica Lusófona (MEL), a congregation settled on the outskirts of Lisbon and formed by migrants from Guinea-Bissau and other Portuguese-speaking countries. MEL is portrayed as an example of how Christian faith enables African believers to cross transnational spaces and to create new spiritual placements in the local environment they inhabit. Against the background of postcolonial Portugal, MEL’s mission discourses are analysed as narratives of moral empowerment that invert the stigmatizing representations of African migrants expressed by their Portuguese-born neighbours. Through these narratives, it is suggested, Evangelical Guinean migrants are able to face their historical and social condition of marginality, by developing a spiritual citizenship grounded in the idea of a Lusophone space of mission.

Journal

African DiasporaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2018

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