Religious schemers: Educated youth as political navigators in eastern Uganda

20th October 2022

Our seminar explores the socio-political practises of youth leaders in a Pentecostal church in eastern Uganda.   Those in positions of leadership are valued for their ability to innovate, to bring liveliness to the church, and to make worshippers feel the church is modern and dynamic.  These attributes are closely tied to claims of school-based education in the area.  They are also important attributes in the competitive marketplace of Christianity in Uganda.   Youth leaders are also criticised for scheming.  For the way they orient projects and initiatives to their own advantage and for not being transparent in their dealing with other youth.  We show how educated young men become “political navigators” in the church.  They mix ambitions for personal growth with their contributions to a modern, lively and dynamic church.