Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, a Methodist minister and theologian from Ghana, was just finishing his doctorate degree when he met up with the ISCMRC at one of these conferences.
discovered in the commission's approach a fertile method for studying the spiritual reality in his
part of the world.
"In West Africa there have never been firm lines between the spiritual and secular," he
Asamoah-Gyadu joined the ISCMRC and went on to serve as a senior fellow at Harvard University's Center for World Religions.
Presently, he is academic dean and teaches at Trinity Theological Seminary in Legon, Ghana.
is keen to understand how new Pentecostal sects are using media in their "spiritual warfare" to root out stubborn indigenous African customs and beliefs.
In 2001 alone, independent producers in Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, and Togo issued an estimated more than 700 direct-to-video films.
All but a few of these, he
says, were created to serve "a religious agenda."
Saved By Grace, for example, tells the story of a middle-class Nigerian woman trying to rescue her
turns first to a local fetish priest.
a magic charm that he
promises will revive the husband's faded love.
Video-films like this one are "selling like hotcakes because they use realistic everyday stories to communicate their religious message," Asamoah-Gyadu