While the churches in the Economic North are getting more and more empty, those in the Global South – and especially in Africa – are growing.
In Ghana Evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatic churches are growing yearly at a 4% rate.
Travelling through the country one can understand the importance of these churches: advertisements are everywhere.
Churches are slowly shaping not only the landscape but also the Ghanaian society, contributing in different ways, to influence the policies of this African country: homophobia in Ghana is nurtured by the rhetoric of religious fundamentalists.
African church leaders are powerful. Their word travels far and is not limited to Sunday mornings and mid-week services. There are TV channels, radio stations, and international branches that reach a wide audience, far beyond their own congregations. Many of these churches are one man church, they don’t pay taxes on what they earn with offerings, miracles, healings, tithe, etc …
Pastors, prophets and apostles have become some of the richest and more powerful people, in Ghana as well as in other countries such as Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, and are controlling, thousands of votes.
The promise of wealth and good health has filled their coffers with money from some of the world’s poorest faithful. Pastors promise to heal poor people from HIV, hepatitis and infertility, to bless them with eternal fortune, and to make them rich. In Ghana, religion and spirituality are everywhere, deeply rooted in society.
Yet religion can easily turn in a real business.
Prophets and Profits wants to visually investigate the impact and the contradictions of these churches now spreading in the Ghanaian society.
This project was possible thanks to a grant by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting