In Search of the True Faith: the Appearance of Orthodox Old Believers in Uganda and Spiritual Anti-globalism in Contemporary Africa
The present article, based on field evidence collected in 2017, deals with a very recent phenomenon — the Orthodox Old Believers in Uganda. This faith originated in Russia, however in Uganda all its adherents belong to African ethnic groups. We describe the short by now history and current state of the Old-Believer communities in Uganda and then concentrate on their members’ motivation for converting to Old Believers vs. knowledge of this religion. We show that what brings them to Old Believers is the search for the true faith associated with the original and hence correct way of performing Christian rites. In this we see an intricate interplay of the features typical for authentic African cultures and acquired by them in the course of interaction with the wider world. Basing on our case study, we discuss how globalist and anti-globalist trends manifest themselves in the religious context in contemporary Africa.