A Bridge to Settlement: an African Ethnic Church in Central Virginia

Leow, Cheryl, Religious Studies - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Ochs, Peter, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia

This paper seeks to explain the connection between an African ethnic church and the settlement of immigrants in Central Virginia by understanding how the African Ethnic Church contributes not only to the religious wellbeing of its congregation, but also to the material adjustment of its attendees and their psychological adjustment to the United States given the cultural familiarities provided within the church. Rather than focusing only on the physical results of the African Ethnic Church’s assistance to immigrants and refugees, I seek to understand how the African Ethnic Church understands itself to be a Christian institution that helps Africans as they settle in multiple ways in the United States. As globalization and immigration increases in the 21st century, it is crucial to see how the African Ethnic Church assists in psychological adjustment, by providing comforting spaces, and helping African immigrants make sense of life in America.

MA (Master of Arts)
Ethnic Church, African Ethnic Church, Settlement , Immigration, African Immigrants
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