While our initial ALS team had no scholars from Lusophone countries, Jurgens Hendriks and Elisabet le Roux of Stellenbosch University had strong connections with theological institutions and scholars within Angola. And so we chose to focus our research on this Lusophone country, with our ALS leadership team subsequently augmented by three Angolan theological faculty (Adelaide Thomas Manuel, Alberto Lucamba Salombongo, and José Paulo Bunga).
In March of 2013 Elisabet le Roux and Jurgens Hendriks carried out training workshops at three different seminaries in Angola. At the insistence of administrators at our partnering institutions, rather than work with a smaller number of advanced research assistants as we did in CAR and Kenya, we utilized over a hundred assistants that were theological undergraduates from five theological seminaries1. Under the supervision of Adelaide Thomas Manuel, Alberto Lucamba Salombongo and José Paulo Bunga, these students surveyed 1783 respondents in half of Angola’s provinces, where roughly two-thirds of the population resides. The Angola map features the towns and cities where we collected most of our data.
Please see the Map.
Research assistants looked for active and informed Christians to fill out the surveys. The purpose of the survey was clearly explained, anonymity was assured and those who filled out the survey received a pen engraved with the Scripture “Exortai-vos e edificai-vos uns aos outros…” 1 Tes 5:11.
Two-thirds of the Angola respondents were approached as individuals, while another third were approached in the context of a group, which in Angola largely (82%) involved congregationally-based groupings. While in many cases, the actual collection of data was done in the context of a gathering or group, this was done to take advantage of the availability of those present, and each survey was filled out individually. The group did not discuss or compare answers or make selections based on the group consensus. In this way, the integrity of the uninfluenced data was maintained.
The Angolan assistants were young, and seem to have gravitated to younger respondents also, with 38% of Angolan respondents being less than 25 years old, compared to roughly half that number in the CAR and Kenya that were under the age of 25. They also surveyed clergy at lower rates than in CAR and Kenya.
This was not a random survey. We specifically intended to survey knowledgeable, active Christians. Again the educated and religiously observant were by intention over-represented in our sample. Eighty-six percent reported being high school graduates. Twenty-three percent of respondents served in (mostly lay) church leadership positions, with another 61% church members and/or regular attenders. Our Angola respondents were disproportionately male (66%) and Protestant (96%). In a country that is 50% Catholic, less than 4% of our respondents were Catholic. And while we surveyed a good cross-section of the Protestant community (“Summary of Responses”, Question 7), our sample in Angola was in some respects less representative of the actual population denominationally and ethnically than in the CAR and Kenya.2
The “Summary of Responses” is included in the downloadable data available on the website “Data Page”.