Take thy selfie and follow me: The image of Christianity and how it attracts or repels youth in Ghana

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The largest religion in Ghana, the world's most religious country, is Christianity. Here, the pervading belief in God's existence fosters religious involvement. With globalization causing a mirroring of trends, the drop in Western religious participation signifies the potential decline of religion in Ghana. Noting that religion is a major part of the lives of many Ghanaians, it is evident that ascertaining what is responsible for the popularity of Christianity in Ghana could hold key insights for religious and non-religious institutions alike as to what traits individuals value in the organizations that they choose to identify with. This paper reflects opinions of the youth on Ghana's most followed religion and acts as a pointer about traits young Ghanaians value in the organizations they associate with. In this study, data was collected from ninety individuals using a set of methods including semi-structured interviews, a focus group discussion and an online questionnaire. From empirical evidence, authenticity ranked highly in deciding whether to belong to a religion's sub-branch. Full participation of the youth in Christian activities was therefore greatly affected by perceptions of the church's split between professed ideals and actual actions as well as the desire for a personal connection to drive their religious participation. This research suggests that where the projected image of Christianity does not match reality, there would eventually be declines in participation. In essence, it asserts that the Christianity that respondents want to associate with is one whose deeds are motivated by a deep empathy for others and that is authentic in its communications and actions.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University College, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2015
Ghana, church activities, young people