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Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum, is a place where religion is seldom taken lightly. To walk through this sprawling township, constructed predominantly with corrugated scrap metal, is to walk through a sea of churches, each one proudly flying a flag above its doors. One reason religion remains so important in a place like Kibera is because for many of Nairobi’s poorest, it not only provides much needed spiritual guidance, but also a safety net that would otherwise not exist. A second reason for their proliferation is that, like most things in Kibera, religion is a commodity to be exploited like everything else.

During weekdays, after the offerings of one’s congregation have run dry, many preachers in Kibera open their churches for private healing sessions. For a fee that can range anywhere between $0.25 and $125, healers claim to be able to do anything from curing the sick and removing curses, to exorcising the devil out of one’s system. It is largely through prayer and the use of special holy waters that this is done.

The healers’ methods in Kibera rest largely on Christian beliefs mixed with more traditional tribal customs. The result is a sort of quasi-Christianity, neither Christian or tribal in essence, but rather indicative of that in-between world where so many in Kibera live.

 
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A priest in the Nairobi slum of Kibera listens to a man who believes he has been possessed by a demon and has come to church to try and have it removed.

While most priests in Kibera preach on Sundays, many turn to more unconventional healing methods during weekdays in order to earn a little extra income.

 
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A Rastafarian priest stands under a dark sky just before heading inside of his church with a patient who wants a demon removed.

Healers claim to be able to solve everything from common ailments to curves placed on their patients. Of course prices do vary, however, depending on the patients problem.

 
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A woman, who believes she has been cursed, is preyed for by a healer in an attempt to have the curse removed.

Cures vary depending on the ailment, but will generally involve a series of incantations in order to rid a victim of the curse or demon that is affecting them.

 
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A bible in a religious healers shack lies on a tablecloth splattered with candle wax.

Bibles, as well as other religious paraphernalia, are used in order to create the right atmosphere often mark out the more successful healers.

 
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One of Kibera’s religious healers, adorned in his green robes, stands outside of his church in one of the slum’s many alleyways.

Healers in Kibera can often be easily spotted with their bright robes and religious necklaces. Often a priest will own have multiple robes, each in a different color and denoting a different saint. Which robe to use on which occasion will often depend on the patient’s ailment.

 
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A pastor preaches to his congregation inside of a metal shack, which serves as a church every Sunday.

With over 80% of Kibera’s population being Christian, Kiberia is awash with churches vying for followers. As a result, religion like everything in the slum is a competitive business.

 
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A man enters into a trance while other members of his congregation sing and dance around him at a Sunday church service.

Singing and dancing are common sights inside churches in Kibera on Sundays, with members of the congregation often going into trance-like states.

 
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A view atop of a hill overlooking the Nairobi slum of Kibera.

Kibera, one of Africa’s largest slums, is home to as many as one million people. The slum has few permanent homes, instead consisting mostly of semi-permanent structures made out of scrap metal and other found materials.