Religion and Migration in Zambia: Experiences of Christian Household Hosts of Migrant Youths in Lusaka’s Urban Context.
This article interrogated the experiences of Christian hosts of migrant youths in Lusaka’s urban context in order to understand the interconnectedness of religious worldviews and migration in contemporary times through the prism of religion as a basis for the more personal regimes of hospitality, reception and integration of migrants. The article is informed by findings from a qualitative case study in which data were collected through interviews with 14 purposively chosen Christian families that had hosted migrant youths in Lusaka urban district. This was supplemented by document analysis in which documents were chosen based on the availability criteria. The data were thematically analysed and interpreted in light of Groody and Campese (2009)’s Christian notions of the image of God, the mission of God and the word of God in migration. It was established that the host Christian households had hosted youths who had migrated largely in pursuit of education and a livelihood in Lusaka. The study also revealed that the hosted migrant youths did not always belong to the same Christian denominations with the hosting households and neither were they always related through kinship ties. It was further established that hosting the migrant youths was shaped by Christian teachings and practices of hospitality and charity. The article therefore argues that while the discourse on religion and migration had focused on the instrumental use of religion by the cross border migrants, religion also remained a basis for accommodating and integrating the rural-urban migrant youths.