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This dissertation examines the relationship of religion to ethnic identity as manifested in the
progress and development of an emerging independent church in rural West Africa. Testing a
model developed by the anthropologist, James W. Fernandez, it investigates the factors which
affect the success or failure of new religious movements to recruit across ethnic lines. The
application of this model to the growing Lobi and Tembo congregation in northeastern Côte
d’Ivoire has made it possible to reconsider, not only the factors affecting multi-ethnic church
growth but how studies of new religious movements in general can be made more profitable. I
am suggesting that this can be done in two ways: