By Linda van de Kamp In 2007, Madam Gracelina (45 years old) was going to open a business with her husband in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. She had managed to rent a nice building for their company at a central location in the city centre and had bought all the necessary equipment. There were also some possible future customers Dona Gracelina was in contact with and she was all ready to start. However, after having dealt with the right government department in Maputo for several months, government officials would not hand over the required licence. She suspected that the officials were waiting for her to pay them an additional sum of money to proceed, but she refused. In the Brazilian Pentecostal God is Love Church that she frequented, she handed over the project file with the company plans and copies of all the papers she had to arrange for the licence to a Brazilian pastor. He would take it with him on his travels until he was back in Brazil where the church’s founder was going to pray for her. During the service it was revealed that an evil spirit stood behind Dona Gracelina and this was following her wherever she went. The pastor expelled the spirit and proposed a programme of prayer, offerings and fasting to defeat the demon.
Studies on religious transnationalism have addressed the role of religion for migrants in maintaining the link between the home and host society. A central question is how transnational religion plays a role in preserving a sense of cultural continuity or in encouraging cultural change in contact between migrants and the new society in which migrants are subjected to a forceful public agenda that usually emphasizes integration. In this context, it has been argued that transnational Pentecostalism encourages stability in situations of mobility and provides for cultural continuity by offering migrants a ‘home away from home’. Lees verder