African dance in church

Project: Migration experience and religion as resource. An ethnographic study.

I study how the migratory experience is mirrored in Sunday services in a Nigerian pentecostal congregation in Malmö, Sweden, and how the members' religiosity is being used as a resource in adapting to their new home country.

Project manager
Anders P Lundberg
1 Sept 2017-31 Dec 2018
Social Work (Department of Social Work, Faculty of Social Sciences)

More about the project

The impact of religion on migration has not gotten the attention it deserves. Religion is an important factor to take into consideration if we want to understand the migratory experience.

The fastest growing church movement in Sweden today is the RCCG, the Redeemed Christian Church of God. RCCG is a Nigerian pentecostal movement with churches in more than 100 countries. In Sweden there are around 35 congregations and in the city of Malmö alone 3 churches. I am currently studying one of the Malmö congregations, the RCCG Jubilee Centre. The Jubilee Centre meets in a basement in the outskirts of Malmö for Sunday services and for the Tuesday prayer meetings. Members are almost exclusively African, usually Nigerian, and many of them are subject to various difficulties as they try to make a life in Sweden for themselves and their families. Stories abound of the trials members experience in their new home country: limited financial means, difficulties in relating with the authorities (municipality), and racism.

The objective of this ethnographic study is to describe how the migratory experience is mirrored in church services, and to understand how members of the congregation use their religiosity as a resource as they integrate or adapt to Swedish society.

The project is part of the research in the Social work and migration research group.