Christ Apostolic Church (Aladura)
The Christ Apostolic Church (abbreviated to CAC ) is a Christian church with a charismatic- prophetic orientation, which emerged in Nigeria in 1939 as a spin-off from an association of the Faith Tabernacle and the Apostolic Church of England . Today the CAC has denominations worldwide , maintains schools, its own university in Ikeji Arakeji ( JABU ) and a theological faculty in Ile-Ife (Nigeria). According to its own information, the CAC now has 5 million members.
The history of the CAC is closely linked to the emergence of the Aladura movement. After various prayer groups had formed within the mission churches in Nigeria during the great flu pandemic of 1918 with the aim of healing the sick through prayer, conflicts arose between the circles and the church leaders (primarily the Anglican and the Methodist Churches , the Skeptical about activities). At the same time some of these circles, which had names like Praying Band and Diamond Society , made contact with the Pentecostal- oriented Faith Tabernacle from the USA . The result was that the prayer groups said goodbye to their churches and established a denomination of Faith Tabernacle in Nigeria. A so-called revival , which took place in 1930 under the direction of the charismatic Joseph Ayo Babalola in Oke Ooye, Ilesa , led to a considerable increase in popularity and awareness of the church in Nigeria. Thousands are believed to have been cured of disease and converted to Christianity during this two-month revival, believed to be the largest in Nigerian history. In 1931 the Nigerian Faith Tabernacle associated with the Apostolic Church of England . However, conflicts soon arose, which reignited over the subject of spiritual healing . After a split into a pro-European and a purely Nigerian group, this charismatic faction, which Babalola also belonged to, called itself the Christ Apostolic Church from 1942 onwards. In the period that followed, the church suffered from various personnel and financial bottlenecks. The death of the founding fathers Babalola and Pastor Odubanjo in 1959, however, did not mark a turning point. With the oil boom in Nigeria that began in the 1960s, more money came into the church and it was able to expand its activities considerably. Its membership increased from 100,000 in 1960 to millions in the 1980s. Outside Nigeria, the CAC was first able to establish itself in Ghana , today it is also widespread in Europe and the USA, mainly in immigrant communities there.
Doctrine and Faith Practice
As with all Aladura churches, the focus of the practice is on prayer. From this the followers hope for an improvement of their material living conditions as well as the solution of personal conflicts, healing of illnesses and spiritual growth. Accordingly, the congregation prayer also takes up a large part of the church services. Belief in spiritual healing, prophecy and waking dreams also play a major role in connection with practices such as fasting. The only ones among the Aladura churches at the CAC do not appear with a white cassock at church services. These are also not as strongly liturgically oriented as in most Aladura churches, but have adapted to the practice of the Pentecostal churches. Although the CAC has historically different roots, it sees itself today as the first Pentecostal Church in Nigeria. The strong emphasis on charisms does indeed provide a point of contact between the Aladura and Pentecostal movements. Organizationally, the church is run by so-called "apostles", "prophets" and "evangelists", at the lower level by pastors, deacons and deaconesses.