Original Research

Roman Catholicism versus Pentecostalism: The nexus of fundamentalism and religious freedom in Africa

Felix E. Enegho
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 41, No 1 | a2019 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v41i1.2019 | © 2020 Felix E. Enegho | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 May 2019 | Published: 07 October 2020

About the author(s)

Felix E. Enegho, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


oday’s Christians in the age of secularism and other kinds of ideologies struggle to make their impacts felt as they assiduously labour to plant the gospel in the hearts and minds of many. Amid their struggles and worries, they are often confronted with other challenges both from within and outside. The aim of this research was to assess the Roman Catholic Church and her struggle in the midst of other Churches often tagged ‘Pentecostals’ in the areas of fundamentalism and religious freedom in Africa and most especially in Nigeria. Pentecostal theology was aligned with Evangelism in their emphasis on the reliability of the Bible and the great need for the spiritual transformation of the individual’s life with faith in Jesus Christ. They emphasise personal experience and work of the Holy Spirit and therefore see themselves as a selected few, who are holy, spiritual and better than others. Some of them even claim to have the monopoly of the Holy Spirit. This researcher was one scholar who holds the view that there was no church more Pentecostal than the Catholic Church which has survived for more than 2000 years under the influence and direction of the Holy Spirit. But for the sake of this research, there was the categorisation of the Church into Catholicism and Pentecostalism. Here, the researcher focused on the challenges to faith witness and evangelisation posed by the rise of Pentecostalism in Africa and particularly in Nigeria. This research adopts a combination of socio-historical and narrative approaches. The data gathering technique was the main source made up of books, unpublished materials, journal articles and Internet materials.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The research has relevance to Church History, Dogmatic Theology and Practical Theology. While from the interdisciplinary perspective, the work has relevance in Psychology and other fields in the Social Sciences. The research does not call for a change in traditional discourse, but rather to build on the existing status quo.


fundamentalism; religious; freedom; Pentecostalism; Roman; Catholic; Charismatic renewal; evangelisation


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Crossref Citations

1. Towards Ecumenical Dialogue between African Pentecostalism and Roman Catholic
Mookgo Solomon Kgatle, Mokone Bruno Lephoto
Pharos Journal of Theology  vol: 103  year: 2022  
doi: 10.46222/pharosjot.10341