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Congregational conflicts and societal impacts: A case of Evangelical Presbyterian congregation in Ghana


Church conflicts impact lives in societies wherever they occur. This present study analyses one of such conflicts and impacts, using a congregation of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Ghana as a case study. The approach of the study was qualitative with individual and group interviews techniques. The findings are that: both central and local authorities of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, caused, fermented ill-sentiments and fanned structural fissures within two religious groups or coalitions at the congregation into conflict that was exacerbated by external pressure from local traditionalists. The coalitions disagree on issues that conflagrate the conflict and the resultant
schism. The impact of the conflict is grave affecting lives in both church and society; crippling all socio-economic development efforts. The conflict appears embedded in moments of history and the structure of culture of the society within which it has unveiled; and provided identity, loyalty and association to the conflict actors. Those identities have influenced the disputants’ perceptions and expressions of grievances and conflict. Thus, the study has realized that economic, political and historical variables alone may not be sufficient to explain the under-currents and motivations of the conflict. This is why it appears important to understand the psychology of disputants and the cultural setting within which they live since these tend to shape the conflict and its resolution.