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Journal for the Study of Religion

On-line version ISSN 2413-3027
Print version ISSN 1011-7601


FRAHM-ARP, Maria. The political rhetoric in sermons and select social media in three Pentecostal Charismatic Evangelical churches leading up to the 2014 South African election. J. Study Relig. [online]. 2015, vol.28, n.1, pp.114-141. ISSN 2413-3027.

Over the last three decades Pentecostal Charismatic Evangelical (PCE) style churches have used cutting-edge media technologies in their ministry. They have also become increasingly politically engaged. This paper shows how three PCE churches in Gauteng used select social media sites, particularly YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp as well as sermons to explain what they believed a Christian's role was in the 2014 elections. By analysing the messages of these churches on some social media sites and in pastor's sermons the ideal of civic society and political engagement of these churches is brought to the fore. All three churches believed that Christians should be politically active, pray for the country's leaders, vote in the elections and obey the rules of government. The churches had different political reasons for supporting democracy which ranged from seeing political engagement as a way to access government and municipal grants, to seeing themselves as the 'chaplains' to those in the highest offices of government and thus able to influence the way in which the country was governed.

Keywords : Pentecostalism; politics; South Africa; social media; Christianity; 2014 elections.

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