Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday-October 25,2009

Being a part of the religion and culture group, the five of us ( Zenobia, Shelley, Veronica, Caitlin and I ) had to study and research religion and culture in Mozambique and whether or not they played a role in the democratization of Mozambique or better still, did Democracy affect/change religion and culture in Mozambique and if yes, how? As you can see, it was a pretty broad topic and it was intentionally set at that to enable us use a wider horizon in taking everything into perspective and actually find what we were looking for. So, early Sunday morning…..we visited a church. Two reasons why, I wanted to attend a Church simple and I’m sure most my colleagues wanted to too but also because as you may already have guessed we needed to interview people who were part of certain religions such as members of the congregation and the clergy. Although we had read about religion in Mozambique, it was quite a different experience hearing first hand from Mozambicans about how they saw the role of religion in Mozambique and in their lives. Our interview with Pastor Luis of the Assembly of God Mission (AGM) Church was the beginning of many interviews with religious leaders, pastors, a bishop, professors of religion, members of the congregation, traditional religious leaders and more. Although on the surface, it seems like religion has a non-existent role due to Mozambique's separation of church and state, we could see that on the contrary religion was a vital part of Mozambique's democracy. Most of the people we interviewed some of whom were members and leaders of various churches, and even traditional religion acknowledged the role that religion played in the peace process during the civil war in Mozambique, the efforts of the various religious groups at humanitarian work after the conflict and the involvement in civic education during electoral periods. Most importantly, the moral and ethical teachings of different religious and traditional groups continue to play a major role in the lives of many Mozambicans. I would refrain from discussing in-depth our findings so far as they are part of our final project and I would it to sound redundant.

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