Ghanaian churches in the Netherlands : religion mediating a tense relationship

TitleGhanaian churches in the Netherlands : religion mediating a tense relationship
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsR.A. van Dijk
EditorW.M.J.van Kessel
Secondary TitleMerchants, missionaries & migrants : 300 years of Dutch-Ghanaian relations
Pagination89 - 97
Date Published2002///
PublisherKIT/Sub-Saharan Publishers
Place PublishedAmsterdam
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsBaptist Church, Ghana, Ghanaians, history, immigrants, Netherlands, policy

Although Ghanaians have formed a substantial immigrant community in the Netherlands for decades, the relationship between the Dutch State and the Ghanaian community remains tense. Not only is Ghanaian life in the Netherlands generally marked by a high level of suspicion with regard to the Dutch State, but the community itself has long taken over certain functions that are otherwise provided by the State. This chapter explores the dimensions of this tense relationship. It pays specific attention to the many Ghanaian churches that have emerged in the Netherlands and the role they play in the creation of a notion of self-reliance and self-esteem. There is some evidence to suggest that religious structures in Ghana have a history of antagonism with regard to State policies. This feature seems to have been carried over into the Netherlands. The Ghanaian churches do not take part in the formal contacts between the government and Ghanaian interest groups, and hardly take part in the formal structures of Dutch religious life. The moral authority they represent within the Ghanaian community is a distinctive one. The chapter first examines aspects of Ghanaian immigration, before focusing on the position of Ghanaian churches in the migrant community. Bibliogr

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