The dramatic growth of non-Western Christianity across Africa is due largely to the flourishing New Pentecostal Churches. Why has the prosperity gospel, imported from the West and preached in these churches, found such fertile soil in Africa? In the second installment of the Global Conversation, Ghanaian seminary professor Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu explains how these churches' peculiar emphases resonate with tribal religious backgrounds. Unfortunately, the prosperity gospel leaves behind the rural poor and other marginalized people who have little access to wealth and success. The gospel of Jesus Christ, on the other hand, glorifies neither poverty nor prosperity, but instead offers deliverance, forgiveness, grace, and restoration.

For thousands of believers in Ghana, Jericho Hour is the place to be if you are looking for a breakthrough. Founded in 1998, the prayer meeting—where, according to its slogan, "giant solutions await your giant problems"—is hosted by Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams and his Action Chapel International in the Prayer Cathedral on Spintex Road in Accra. On Thursday mornings 3,000 people make their way to the cathedral, where they are encouraged to pray for breakthroughs in business dealings and employment, international travel, money to build houses and buy cars, help with finding a spouse or bearing a child, and, when experiencing setbacks, vengeance on those spiritually responsible.

Founded by Duncan-Williams in 1979 as Christian Action Faith Ministry International, the church was the first of a new stream of Pentecostal churches that have since flourished in Ghana and across Africa. Duncan-Williams's mentor was the late Nigerian Benson Idahosa, who, before he died in the late '90s, conferred ...

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