Religion and development in the EELC. Exploring religious influence and the relationship between religion and development in the PLS-project, Cameroon
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By looking empirically at one concrete faith-based developmental initiative, the aim of this study is to investigate the ways in which religion is present and influence development in faith-based development work, so as to gain a better understanding of the relationship between these concepts. Even though this assignment will focus mainly on religious influence on development, where my material allows it, I will also comment on the influence that development has on religion. It is important to stress that by influence, I do not refer to any potential causal effects between the two, but the potential ways in which they mutually nuance, challenge or redefine each other. The project I have chosen is the Programme de Lutte contre le VIH/SIDA (PLS) run by the Eglise Evangelique Lutherienne au Cameroun (EELC). This is a developmental project within health, which is a core category within contemporary development discourse. Religion is of particular interest to the health- category because of the central role played by religious actors (Haynes 2007:172). Furthermore, this church- run project is mainly funded through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), through the Norwegian Missionary Society (NMS).