One of the global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the religious responses that it has generated. For contemporary Pentecostalism in particular, which is a religion that preaches and teaches a theology of human flourishing through the principles of prosperity, the negative effects of the coronavirus on people proved a theologically challenging endeavor. Pronouncing curses on evil or blaming Satan for it in human life has always been part of the means to achieve health and wealth for contemporary Pentecostals. This is very much the case in Africa where the instrumentalist use of religion as a means of personal and communal survival and wellbeing already exists. Thus, the contemporary Pentecostal health-and-wealth gospel, although appeals to the Bible for theological legitimacy, also resonates very much with the African worldview. In the midst of the pandemic, however, the monolithic understanding of flourishing preached by some Pentecostals came unstuck. In this article, we discuss African contemporary Pentecostal responses to the pandemic in order to show how the reality of evil can challenge existing understanding of life’s challenges and the need to be holistic in our responses to them.



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