A Cultural Study of the City of Antsiranana and the Response of the Church to Traditional Religion
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This thesis examines ATR in the city of Antsiranana in Northern Madagascar. I wanted to discover how the church responds to ATR and makes disciples of men and women from an ATR. The purpose was to discover a biblical response that would be effective in making disciples in Antsiranana and other places where ATR is deep rooted in the culture. To learn the culture and worldview of the Malagasy in Antsiranana, my family and I lived among the people in the city, worshiped with the churches, and had daily interaction with Malagasy people. I carried out a cultural study covering family life, social life, economic life, and religious life in Antsiranana. The focus was on religion and how the people believed and perceived for themselves the religious climate of the city. As there is diversity within those who identify as Christian, this thesis focuses on evangelical churches, and more so on two churches in particular: the Baptist church and the CEIM church. Chapter 2 provides a general overview of ATR. The basic beliefs and practices are examined as well as some of the obstacles faced in the study of ATR. Chapter 3 processes the cultural survey questions and the responses of Malagasy residents of Antsiranana. Chapter 4 explored worldview, culture, and the various responses to ATR, as well as examines how the churches in the city deal with ATR, and various other African response to ATR. The chapter suggests a biblical response to ATR and worldview influence. The conclusion reached is that worldview must be addressed when dealing with ATR. One must consider how to formulate a biblical worldview for those coming from ATR cultures. The proposal of this thesis is to focus on chronological Bible storying as a means for worldview change among animistic and ATR societies.