PENTECOSTAL CHURCHES’ RESPONSE TO THE PLIGHT OF WIDOWS IN FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, ABUJA


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page
Abstract
Table of contents
Abbreviations

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background to the Study
1.2       Statement of the Problem
1.3       Objectives of the Study
1.4       Research Questions
1.5       Research Hypotheses
1.6       Significance of the Study
1.7       Scope of the Study

CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1       Introduction
2.2       Concept of Widowhood
2.3       Concept of Pentecostalism
2.3.1    Pentecostalism in Nigeria
2.3.2    Pentecostals Concern on Giving to Widows
2.4       Biblical Teaching on Widows
2.4.1    Old Testament Teaching About Widows
2.4.2    New Testament Teaching about Widows
2.5       Treatment of Widows in the Society
2.6       Widows‘ Plight Associated with Some Common Traditional Widowhood Practices
2.6.1    Confinement
2.6.2    Sitting on a Mat
2.6.3    Observance of Vigil
2.6.4    Taking of Special Bath
2.6.5    Wearing of Dark Clothing and Accessories
2.6.6    Usage of Separate Utensils and Items
2.6.7    Disposal of all Items Used
2.6.8    Emotional Plight
2.6.9    Physical Plight
2.6.10 Social/Psychological Plight
2.6.11 Spiritual Plight
2.7       Widows Plight in the Family
2.7.1    Children‘s Education
2.7.2    Health Bills
2.7.3    Feeding
2.7.4    Clothing
2.7.5    Discipline of Children
2.7.6    Work
2.8       Review of Empirical Studies on the Plight of Widows
2.9       Summary

CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1       Introduction
3.2       Design
3.3       Population
3.4       Sample and Sampling Procedures
3.4.1    Sample of Churches
3.4.2    Sample of Respondents
3.5       Instrumentation
3.5.1    Questionnaire
3.5.2    Interview
3.6       Validation of Instrument
3.7       Pilot Study
3.8       Reliability of the Instrument
3.9       Administration of Instruments
3.10     Method of Data Analysis

CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
4.1       Introduction
4.2       Demographic characteristics of Respondents
4.3       The Understanding of Biblical teaching concerning widows in FCT
4.4       The Plight of Widows in Pentecostal Churches in FCT
4.5       The Response of Pentecostal Churches to the Plight of Widows in FCT
4.6       Possible way Pentecostal Churches can assist and encourage widows In FCT
4.7       Test of Null Hypotheses
4.8       Summary of Unique findings
4.9       Discussions

CHAPTER 5: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1       Summary
5.2       Conclusions
5.3       Recommendations
5.4       Suggestions for Further Research
References
Appendices


ABSTRACT


This study titled Pentecostal churches‘ response to the plight of widows in Federal

Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja set out to investigate how Pentecostal churches understand the Biblical teaching concerning; identify the plight of widows in Pentecostal churches; find out the response of Pentecostal churches to the plight of widows and give suggestion on how the Pentecostal churches can respond to the plight of widows. Four research questions were raised and four null hypotheses formulated to guide the study. A survey research design was adopted for the study. A total of five hundred (500) Pentecostal Church members (Comprising of Ministers, Widows and other members) were randomly sampled and stratified for the study. The questionnaires were distributed to Forty two (42) sampled Pentecostal Churches in the six Area Councils of Abuja. One minister and a widow in each of the sampled churches were interviewed. Therefore, the research instruments used for the study were structured questionnaire and structured interview schedule. Six hundred and thirty (630) copies of questionnaires were distributed in the field. Five hundred and forty-three (543) copies were retrieved. Five hundred (500) were found valid for use due to their proper filling as opposed to the remaining forty three (43) copies which were not properly filled. The data collected from the respondents in the Forty-two (42) churches were statistically analyzed using the SPSS Software. The four null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance as well as frequencies, percentages; means and standard deviation were employed to answer research questions. Statistical tests of t-test and ANOVA were used for the test of the null hypotheses. The major findings of this study were that: the Pentecostal Church members have an understanding of Biblical teaching concerning widows; Pentecostal Church Widows are suffering from different kinds of Plight, and in recognition of these, the Pentecostal Churches show concern by giving scholarship to widows‘ children in order to alleviate their plight; Pentecostal


Churches Positively respond to the Plight of Widows by designing a special programme for widows; organizing seminars and counseling widows; providing welfare package like skill acquisition programme and financial assistance to widows; and having Bible Study on topics having to do with widows‘ Plight periodically. It was also found out that Pentecostal Churches assist and encourage widows in terms of regular financial assistance; material support/supply of food items to widows; raising educational funds to assist widows‘ children; regular visitation to widows and gainful employment for widows. Therefore, it was recommended that Pentecostal Ministers should keep educating their congregations on the Biblical teaching concerning the plight of widows and encourage them to care for widows; Other recommendations were that Pentecostal ministers should encourage widows among them to re-marry if they still have the grace in order to alleviate the plight they go through; also, widows of Pentecostal churches should make efforts to find solutions to their problems by embracing entrepreneurship and self employment ventures. This will go a long way to make them self reliant.



CHAPTER 1


INTRODUCTION


1.1              Background to the Study

Widowhood is often associated with pain, grief and depression, especially for

women who are not educated, have no skill or business to fall back on. Upon realisation of this ugly societal trend, more than few non-government organisations have emerged to ensure that these women survive despite their situation. In different parts of Nigeria, the state of widows varies, depending on ethnicity and culture. In some cultures, the moment a man dies, his belongings are taken away from the widow by his relatives, and thereby leaving her with little, or in most cases, nothing to survive on. It is more pathetic when the poor widow has nothing to fall back on; she is left alone, rejected and abandoned to wallow in abject poverty with her children. This ugly situation has forced many widows to resort to various means of survival such as: Prostitution and begging. Most times, many of them find themselves at the mercy of their dead husbands‘ relatives, many of whom may want them as second wives.

In most African cultural settings, women are regarded as second class citizens. This explains why women have little or no say on the issue concerning the family affairs in most African societies. Women in most cultures are deprived of the bride price of their children. In Nigeria today, a good number of young and old women who have lost their spouses find it difficult to cope with life. Death is an inevitable phenomenon that causes a compulsory separation of couples and this is prevalent in every society. Widows, both young and old, are faced with challenges in their daily living by feeling lonely, dejected, isolated and abandoned; thereby leading some of them to become weary and end up.....


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