The social impact of the Salvation army on Chikankata district of Zambia, 1945 – 2015.

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Mwanza, Apex
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The University of Zambia
The central theme of this study is an examination of the social impact of the Salvation Army on Chikankata district and the responses of Africans thereto. Specifically, the study aims at identifying strategies used by the Salvation Army to convert Africans to Christianity. It also examines the Salvation Army‟s impact on the local people through the provision of educational and healthcare services. Using data from both primary and secondary sources, the study argues that, contrary to the popular view that missionary groups used education and medical care as principal methods of evangelism, the Salvation Army was less dependent on them. Instead, it demonstrates that the mission largely relied on African agents and the use of open-air meetings, march pasts, uniform wearing, brass bands, popular culture, congress meetings, religious rites, and the media as methods of evangelism. Further, the study establishes that the Salvation Army was an agent of social change that provided the foundation for modern primary and secondary school education, industrial and health personnel training. In so doing, the mission contributed to human resource development in the district and the country at large. The mission also contributed to the improvement of the well-being of the local people through the introduction of maternal and child health programmes as well as combating communicable and non-communicable diseases such as leprosy, tuberculosis, measles, epilepsy and HIV/AIDS. Further, the study notes that the activities of the mission in the area elicited various responses from the local people. Some groups such as Basimalende (Guardians of shrines), beer patrons, Jehovah‟s Witnesses, and the Full Gospel Mission resisted the Salvation Army‟s proselytisation agenda. For other locals, the presence of the Salvation Army in Chikankata provided a milieu for advancing their economic and political goals. The study further demonstrates that the war of liberation in neighbouring Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia) and Zambia‟s liberal policies of the 1990s proved challenging to the mission‟s evangelical work.
Thesis of Master of Arts in History.