A Nation Born Again


  • Gregory Deacon



Development, Pentecostal, Kenya, Politics, nationalism


In much of the work on Pentecostalism and development to date, Pentecostals have been considered as individual, adult converts adopting new (in contrast to traditional) socioeconomic approaches. These are seen by some authors as having transformative results for personal wellbeing and economic success as they are no longer subject to the restrictions of state, nation and society; others present opposite conclusions. As an alternative point of departure, this article considers that Charismatic, Pentecostal Christianity has been of great importance in the creation and evolution of Kenya as a state and nation. This understanding is used to illuminate the themes that dominated the country’s general election of 2013 and its developmental ramifications. It is suggested that exploring Pentecostalism at the level of nation and state, whilst continuing to allow for the importance of conceptions of personal responsibility, offers an additional and complimentary approach for exploring Pentecostalism and development.

Author Biography

  • Gregory Deacon

    Gregory Deacon is an independent researcher whose work focuses on Kenyan, Pentecostal and Evangelical Christianity, looking at its socioeconomic role, political evolution, and significance for national identity and citizenship. This research was funded by the British Academy.


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How to Cite

Deacon, G. (2015). Kenya: A Nation Born Again. PentecoStudies, 14(2), 219-240.