In a world where many are letting go of their belief, the photographer Lorenzo Maccotta saw a lot of people building a deeper connection with faith. “Mega Churches” is an inquest into the changing culture of the Sub-Saharan region of Ghana.
Christianity is the current largest religion in the world and while it’s said to be declining in the Western World, in Ghana it is surprisingly growing at 4% annual rate. According to a forecast by Pew Research Center, the African region will be home to 40% of the total global Christian population by 2060.
Intrigued by the fact on his first trip to the country, the Italian photographer Lorenzo Maccotta couldn’t help to go back to the country to document the local Christian culture and investigate this growing devotion.
According to Lorenzo, the sprightly people of the Sub-Saharan region of Africa are also vibrant in their approach to religion. The weekly offering of the Mass is done with plenty of singing and dancing — which gets them into a different almost trance-like state.
In fact, that’s what draws so many Africans to faith. The pentecostal, evangelical, and charismatic churches are currently attracting a large number of people in the continent via the “Gospel of Prosperity”. They believe that this form of Christianity can bring them wealth and benefits. Curing through divine miracles and improving the lives of the faithful through prayers, is now a cardinal part of their existence.
Maccotta also discerned that some places of worship like the International Central Gospel Church, the Lighthouse Chapel International, and the Church of Pentecost are more socially aware and active than the others. Apart from the weekly experiences, they disseminate content through dedicated apps, social media, advertising inserts, publishing houses, private television, and radio stations.
In the two months that he spent in Ghana, Lorenzo also came to understand that some prophets have become extremely influential in the current narrative of the nation. He worries that the tax free donations, a literal reading of the Bible, the emphasis on wealth and well-being, and a strong commitment to spread the Gospel, might be affecting the civil society at large.
It wasn’t easy for Lorenzo to gain access to the churches and it was only after sometime that he managed to garner the population’s trust. Through this series, the photographer tried to document his experience and to showcase to the world the daily lives and cultural outlook of the people in Ghana.
I experienced the Mass in different Mega Churches and discovered a magical Universe qualified by a belief in the Supernatural and hope in a possible and attainable Paradise.Lorenzo Maccotta
Lorenzo Maccotta is an award-winning Roman photographer whose work focuses on the transformation of the contemporary society. Published by several international media and exhibited in multiple museums, Lorenzo enjoys investigating the reality around him.
To see more of the photographer’s work visit his Cherrydeck profile or his website, here. For more interesting projects, take a look at our Project Spotlight section, where we regularly share the work from talented members. 🍒