Kenyan Pentecostals between ‘Home’, London, and the Kingdom of God

December 2013 – December 2016
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This project examines issues of migrant identification and incorporation among Kenyan Pentecostals in London through the lens of religion. It takes the following incongruities in perspective as a departure point: are Kenyan Pentecostals in London ethnically encapsulated ‘economic migrants’ whose ‘home’ is Kenya, or are they Christians on a religious mission from God to reclaim the United Kingdom, who engage with people as brothers and sisters in Christ and envision their ultimate home in the ‘Kingdom of God’? In doing so, the project explores how the migratory experiences of Kenyans articulate with their religious identities and affiliations. At the same time, it is interested in the churches migrant Kenyans have founded in London, which, in becoming UK-registered charities, have ostensibly claimed a role in the wider society at a time of ongoing austerity. How do these self-identified multicultural churches define ‘civic’ and ‘social engagement’ and what forms does it take? The project pays particular attention to place-making practices as Kenyan Pentecostals seek to emplace themselves locally and transnationally. The project will contribute to debates on migration, religion, and (Christian) citizenship, and advance our understanding of the relationship between faith, belonging, and (sub)urbanism.

Principal Investigator

Leslie Fesenmyer


Economic and Social Research Council