Branding Orthodoxy: Religious diplomacy and the Makarios legacy in Sub-Saharan Africa
AuthorConstantinou, Costas M.
SourcePlace Branding and Public Diplomacy
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This article investigates religious diplomacy and its branding potential and power ramifications, focusing on Cypriot missionary work in Sub-Saharan Africa. It analyses the diplomacy of Archbishop Makarios III, the first President of the Republic of Cyprus, who branded Orthodoxy as an anti-colonial alternative to the African 'colonial religions'. Makarios used religious diplomacy instrumentally for domestic and international legitimacy as well as for enhancing Cypriot statehood during periods of internal and external contestation. The article also examines the current work of the Greek Orthodox (Cypriot) Mission in Kenya, the continuities and shifts with regard to the initial aims of Makarios's religious diplomacy. It looks at the extent to which the Mission has been internationalized and potential to function as a 'reverse mission' also representing Kenyan-Africans in Cyprus. The article is based on archival research, press coverage, interviews and participatory observation. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Ltd.