Spiritual Fathering in Pentecostal and Charismatic Christiani ...

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This article studied the metaphor of spiritual fathering within Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity in southern and western Africa. In these churches, the pastor of a congregation is not only perceived as a shepherd of the flock but also as a spiritual father. The main study findings revealed three challenges of spiritual fathering: exclusion of women, ill-treatment of spiritual children, and Gender Based Violence (GBV). Spiritual fathering neglects the role of women pastors and women church founders in spiritual parenting. Similarly, some imbalances exist in the relationship between spiritual fathers and spiritual children. Some “spiritual fathers” use spiritual fathering to perpetuate GBV and other types of abuse. The main objective of this article is to redefine the metaphor of “spiritual fathering” in the religious community through the parenthood model as a theoretical framework. The article recommends inclusive metaphor in contrast to the current challenges of spiritual fathering in popular religion.