Original Research: Scholarly Voices

Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on church ministries in Africa: A literature analysis focusing on South Africa

Christopher Magezi, Vhumani Magezi
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 4 | a7219 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i4.7219 | © 2022 Christopher Magezi; Vhumani Magezi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 November 2021 | Published: 30 March 2022

About the author(s)

Christopher Magezi, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Vhumani Magezi, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Abstract

This article argues that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which emerged in 2019, has had a negative impact on all institutions and spheres of life, including churches. Scholars and religious practitioners concur that the pandemic has negatively affected the church in various ways such as in church worship, fellowship, finance, interrelationships and various other ministries and programmes. Despite a reference to challenges posed by COVID-19 on the churches’ ministries, there are very few academic articles based on literature scoping on the subject, particularly its impact on churches in Africa with a particular focus on South Africa. A study of that nature is important as it provides an insight into practical church ministries during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article presents the findings of a scoping study conducted to inform a broader empirical study on churches and COVID-19 in South Africa and Africa. The article concludes by recommending an empirical qualitative study to explore in-depth issues on COVID-19 and the church to generate academic articles in order to overcome the prevailing gap, whereby the bulk of the information on the subject is popular in sources such as blogs.

Contribution: This article is a study that scopes literature published on the impact of COVID-19 on churches and provides a detailed understanding of the phenomenon. It contributes to understanding how COVID-19 particularly affected church ministries in Africa and South Africa and proposes areas requiring empirical studies on COVID-19 and churches.


Keywords

church and COVID-19; church worship and COVID-19; COVID-19 church responses; church fellowship and COVID-19; church mission and COVID-19; digital church services; virtual worship services; COVID-19 and churches

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Crossref Citations

1. Australian Catholics’ Lived Experiences of COVID-19 Church Closures
Philippa Martyr
Journal of Religion and Health  vol: 62  issue: 4  first page: 2881  year: 2023  
doi: 10.1007/s10943-023-01823-6