Religious Institutions’ Capacity Determinants and Environmental Conservation in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A Case of the Baptist Church in Central Africa in Goma, North Kivu


  • Mr. Joshua Kasereka Lusenge Mount Kenya University, Kigali, Rwanda
  • Dr. Ernest Safari (PhD) Mount Kenya University, Kigali, Rwanda



This research, conducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) with a focus on the Baptist Church in Central Africa (CBCA), explores the relationship between religious institutions' capacity determinants and environmental conservation. Since the 1960s, scholars have increasingly studied the connections between humans, religions, and the environment, emphasizing the role of religion in addressing the environmental crisis. The study, using a descriptive research design and a case study approach, targeted a population of 5,435 individuals aged 18 to 65, with a sample size of 373 units. The main objective was to identify capacity-related obstacles hindering the CBCA's efforts toward environmental conservation in Goma. The researchers acknowledged the important role that religion can play in solving environmental issues, viewing the environmental crisis as a moral imperative requiring spiritual solutions and cultural transformation. Despite the commitment of religious institutions to nature caretaking, the study observed ongoing environmental deterioration, suggesting obstacles impeding their efforts. Data collection involved both a questionnaire survey and face-to-face interviews. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), version 25, was employed for quantitative data analysis, using descriptive approaches such as frequencies and percentages. Qualitative data underwent theme-based analysis to elucidate respondents' perspectives. The study's specific objectives included assessing the relationship between CBCA's capacities and environmental conservation in Goma, examining the link between CBCA's resources and interventions for environmental protection, and evaluating the impact of accountability practices on environmental conservation in the same town. Results indicated that poor capacity stands out as a significant obstacle hampering CBCA's environmental conservation efforts. The findings suggest that the church's response to environmental issues is not yet optimal, emphasizing the need for improvement in capacity-related aspects. In conclusion, this research contributes valuable insights to the understanding of how capacity-related obstacles hinder churches, particularly the CBCA, in their efforts toward environmental conservation. The study serves as a reference for researchers, practitioners, managers, planners, and policymakers in the region, offering critical information on capacity-related environmental issues. It calls for a paradigm shift and suggests that future research should delve into strategies for enhancing the church's capacity-building processes to positively impact environmental conservation.

Keywords: Religious Institutions, Capacity Determinants, Environmental Conservation, Baptist Church in Central Africa, Goma, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

Author Biographies

Mr. Joshua Kasereka Lusenge, Mount Kenya University, Kigali, Rwanda

School of Social Sciences, Master of Art in Development Studies (Environmental Conservation Option), Mount Kenya University, Kigali, Rwanda

Dr. Ernest Safari (PhD), Mount Kenya University, Kigali, Rwanda

Mount Kenya University, Kigali, Rwanda


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How to Cite

Lusenge, J. K., and E. Safari. “Religious Institutions’ Capacity Determinants and Environmental Conservation in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A Case of the Baptist Church in Central Africa in Goma, North Kivu”. Journal of Sociology, Psychology & Religious Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, Nov. 2023, pp. 70-94, doi:10.53819/81018102t2272.