Gender Bargains in a Pentecostal (Born-Again) Marriage: Divorce as a Socio-religious Discourse in the Glorious Vessels International Chat Group

  • Peter A. Oderinde Center for African Studies of the University of Basel


The rise of the Pentecostal movement in the last three decades is one of the most striking features in the global topography of contemporary religion. In Switzerland, the Pentecostal or charismatic movement is the most popular strand of migrant Christianity. This article is based on a three-year online ethnographic participant observation of different Nigerian-led online Pente-costal groups. The use of diverse interactive spaces seems to be of particular significance to both mega and non-mega Nigerian-led Pentecostal migrant churches in the country. By exploring the social practices of online commu-nities such as the Glorious Vessels International WhatsApp chat group, the article shows how different forms of biblical patriarchy shape conversations that “recognise†or “repress†the rights and roles of women – their economic status and sexuality in born-again movements. The exchange of ideas that ensued on the issues of divorce among members of Glorious Vessels International shows how bargaining in the physical (real) world is transferred into the online environment. I analyse this phenomenon by understanding the ideal online religious community as an assemblage that promotes a certain gendered image of the prosperous family.


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