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By H. Harris

The Nigerian Diaspora is now world-wide, and while Yoruba go back and forth, they take with them their spiritual companies. As a member of the Cherubim and Seraphim church in London for over thirty years, anthropologist Hermione Harris explores an international of prayer, spirit ownership, and divination via goals and visions. via their non secular perform, church participants enlist the Holy Spirit to safeguard themselves opposed to witchcraft and evil spirits, and make a hit in their lives. even though the hot Nigerian 'Born back' Pentecostals in Britain shy away from C&S ritual, Harris argues that they too are engaged within the look for religious energy.

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Extra info for Yoruba in Diaspora: An African Church in London (Contemporary Anthropology of Religion)

Sample text

We heard about it at home, but we never bothered with films and literature and all that. There is a class bias operating here—that thing . . belongs to the educated people who are coming over to England to full-time courses and are attending college and university. . It’s different for us; we are the struggling masses. (Teacher Awofala) Surviving on the edges of organized student life, the numbers of Yoruba worker-students were never counted. 11 Although most were Yoruba, these figures also include Ibo, Hausa, and other smaller Nigerian ethnic groups, as well as non-Nigerians born in the country.

As their stay became protracted, daily difficulties accumulated, frustrating their goal of gaining their qualifications and returning home. For members of the Cherubim and Seraphim it was their church that both helped them survive their problems and maintain a sense of their own professional identity and future. Samuel Ajayi’s Story An elder in the C&S, Samuel Ajayi once told me of the turning point in his decision to come to England. It was in 1960, when he was working as a sanitary inspector in Lagos.

32 YORUBA IN DIASPORA The hope harbored by many women was that their greater earning capacity would give them more leverage inside their marriage, and greater security if it failed. But in spite of the skills they were acquiring, women still felt at a relative disadvantage to men in a community where education was so highly valued: “Women must muddle up because they are not much educated,” said one male member. Moreover, pace Engels (1958) and the orthodox socialist line on women’s liberation, women’s economic participation does not necessarily entail equality.

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