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Maud GAUQUELIN (2010). Les Tchadiens évangéliques au Nigeria

In Nigeria, many researchers have been studying the ambivalent relations between so-called "Evangelical" and Protestant Pentecostal missions on the one hand and converted local populations on the other hand. The aim of this article is to examine the connection between the missionary history of a Western Protestant enterprise, the Sudan United Mission, with a Chadian population that migrated to Nigeria during the 20th century, establishing a dynamic transnational religious network that spreads between the two countries.

The relationships established between Nigeria, the "giant" of West Africa, with a population of nearly 130 million inhabitants, and Chad, often located in Central Africa, and whose population barely reaches 10 million, have remained understudied. Yet, both countries have a common border through Lake Chad and maintain rather close economic, diplomatic and religious relations. It is the latter aspect, religion, which concerns us here. The example of the Moundang population originating from the plain of Mayo-Kebbi, South West Chad, enables us to understand the chararteristics of this religious link. The way in which this diaspora spread over the heart of the Middle Belt in Nigeria in the 20th century reveals durable links built by Evangelical efforts subtly adapting to changing circumstances. What kind of Christianity is it? What is its approach to the Gospel and its contribution? What local churches has it given birth to? These are the questions addressed in the first part of this study. Then, after tracing the history of the setting-upof these missions in the different areas of their transnational settlement, we interview religious subjects in exile and show their contemporary re-appropriation. Why did the Moundang leave their homeland? What was driving them away? What are they looking for in Nigeria today ? How did they settle in Nigeria? Under what circumstances? As a community or migratory networks? From the francophone Moundang religiosity to Evangelical Christianity in Nigeria, what changes have these migrants experienced?

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