Pastoring churches in the informal settlement of Khayelitsha in Mangaung, Free State Province, South Africa
Informal settlements around the world have to deal with massive challenges regarding poverty. Serious challenges abound, such as the lack of sufficient housing and infrastructure, high levels of unemployment that result in poverty, illnesses, exacerbated by a lack of medical facilities, crime, power struggles, and lack of education facilities. This is especially the case in Mangaung, South Africa. These conditions especially affect children. Many Christian churches operate in these settlements. They have many different confessions and liturgies. Pastors in these churches play important roles in the congregation and in the lives of the people in these communities. These churches’ involvement in these situations must be critically evaluated. Qualitative research on the role of some pastors in the informal settlement in Khayelitsha, Mangaung, established that pastors are positively involved in the community. Pastors giving hope in desperate situations should be commended. However, pastors propagating prosperity by requesting the poor to give up all they have for a promise of unrealistic wealth should be engaged critically. The church should be followers of Christ, who set the example by being poor Himself.
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