Turning the Spirits into Witchcraft: Pentecostalism in Fijian Villages

Lynda Jean Newland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Since Independence in 1970, Pentecostal churches have undergone unprecedented growth in Fiji. They claim to revive and purify Christianity and openly demonise many traditional ideas and practices that have been incorporated into the teachings and practices of the indigenous orthodox church of Methodism. The repercussions are that families with pre-Christian esoteric knowledges are now perceived as cursed and therefore more likely to suffer illness and early death. Moreover, according to the Pentecostal churches, these conditions can only be healed by convening to Pentecostalism. However, in the villages, this conversion also brings conflict and sometimes splits villages completely, as in the case with a village on Beqa Island, or results in violence, as in the case of a village in Naitasiri. Both cases are discussed in this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalOceania
Volume75
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2004

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