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DEV Research Seminar - Wednesday 13th November

Karen Jenny Lauterbach, Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen, will present her research and findings on refugee-refugee hosting in a faith-based context.


‘A Refugee Pastor in a Refugee Church’: Hosting in Congolese Churches in Kampala, Uganda.

Wednesday 13th November | ARTS 2.01 | 3.30-5pm


This paper discusses refugee-refugee hosting in a faith-based context. It looks particularly at Congolese churches in Kampala, Uganda and how hosting is practiced and conceptualised in everyday displacement encounters. An important number of Congolese refugees who arrive in Uganda seek to settle and find protection in urban areas such as Kampala, and small refugee churches play a crucial role in this process. The paper approaches refugees both as products of displacement and as responses to displacement. Moreover, it takes the perspective of refugee experiences, and provides insight into a religious refugee institutional setting that is momentary and volatile and yet constitutes the primary host and refuge for many displaced people in urban areas. The paper analyses hybrid forms of accommodating and hosting refugees that take place in a faith-based context and discusses what the implications of this are for how guest and host as categories are perceived. This includes a discussion of how hosting and hospitality is related to ideas of compassion and sacrifice. The paper also reflects on how we can approach refugee-refugee hosting as a community response to displacement, which is both anchored to a particular site, but also connected to wider transnational networks of displaced people.