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The Early Charismatic Movement in the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church

Issue: Vol 12 No. 2 (2013)

Journal: PentecoStudies: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Research on the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements

Subject Areas: Religious Studies

DOI: 10.1558/ptcs.v12i2.162


The Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (KHC), which is an outgrowth of the Evangelical SIM missionaries, has the largest following of Evangelical Christians in Ethiopia, comprising over 7 million members. For the most part of its history, the Church has kept the doctrinal identity of its forebears and remained closed to the influences of Pentecostalism. Today, the picture has changed as most of the churches under its umbrella – both in the rural and urban areas – have become vibrantly Charismatic. What has transpired to bring about this change? This paper is an attempt towards offering an explanation. In doing so, it seeks to locate the primary impulse of the spread of the Charismatic movement in the KHC at a Christian fellowship called Hebret Amba (HA), which was established by students from Haile Selassie I University. Contributing to the spread of the Charismatic movement in KHC are the youthful and progressive nature of HA’s leadership (and its congregation), and the unique role that pastor Gosaye played in bringing his Pentecostal experiences from his Full Gospel Believers’ Church (FGBC, or Mulu Wongel) background to the Church. I seek to capture the bigger idea of the diffusion of Pentecostalism in the KHC within the framework of two interrelated concepts; namely, “nekekit” (literally, touch-touching), conceptually translated as interactionism/ intersectionism, and the “Mulu Wongel repertoire”.

Author: Tibebe Eshete

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