Christianity in the Luangwa Valley:
Where faith and culture meet or don't meet
by Bernhard Udelhoven
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What does the Christian faith offer to people in the remote Luangwa Valley of Zambia? How does it link up, or not link up, with their values, life-experience and knowledge of God and the unseen world?
The first Catholic missionaries opened a mission station in the Luangwa valley in 1904, but they left the valley barely seven months later. They had found greener pastures elsewhere.
In the next 100 years of evangelisation, the valley witnessed periods of renewed impetus, but the specific conditions of the valley found only very few considerations in the pastoral plans of the established Church. Many pastoral workers considered the valley a difficult place, backwards, and left behind — an appendix.
Now people of the valley are themselves asking the Church questions. The answers given to their questions should be significant for the approach to Christian evangelisation far beyond the valley.
This book is the outcome of a study commissioned by the Catholic Diocese of Chipata in search of a contextualised pastoral approach, on the occasion of its Christian centenary.