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[Master Thesis] Christus Pantocrator

Mosaic010, the beginning of an evangelical megachurch in Rotterdam

Thesis by Leen La Rivière

Master study Religion and Society

Utrecht University, August 2022

Language: Dutch

This is the mosaic of Christ Pantocrator in the Church of the Holy Redeemer in Chora ( Greek : Ἐκκλησία τοῦ Ἁγίου Σωτῆρος ἐν τῇ Χώρᾳ ), is a medieval Greek Orthodox church. The church was built in the fourth century as part of a monastery outside the walls of Constantinople and retained the name Chora after the expansion of the walls under Emperor Theodosius I. This mosaic was chosen because it refers to Jesus Christ as Ruler and Conqueror, thus depicting what the Mosaic is trying to be as a church: to become a work of art from many different parts. It also relates to Mosaic's flag song: Jesus Victorious (more on page 2 of the thesis, song on page 57).

English Summary of the Thesis

The Netherlands has a new phenomenon of evangelical megachurches that emerged after 2005. This thesis examines from a historical context how the most recent Mosaic318 in Veenendaal came into being and has been starting new Mosaic daughter churches since 2019, with the focus of this thesis being on M010 in the author Leen La Rivière's hometown of Rotterdam.

This thesis deals with the developments within the Dutch evangelical movement over the last two hundred years, zooming in via a general framework in increasing detail on the most recent innovation in the evangelical movement, namely the emergence of evangelical megachurches after 2005, and in particular the development of mother church Mozaiek in Veenendaal, which in 2019, due to unrelenting growth, split into ten daughter churches, the very last being Moziek010 in Rotterdam. The thesis focuses on how such a start-up of a new evangelical church proceeds, as no research or article has been found in the academic literature describing how it happens. In the study, the main question was to track the development from point zero to eight months on, with growth numerically identifiable from a five hundred people at the first service in February to a thousand people at a baptismal service in early July 2022. Eight months of fieldwork and interviews give an interesting insight into how that development is going, but there are also side effects what the consequences are for church Rotterdam, what are they and how are they being dealt with. Will Mozaiek010 also become another mega-church with two thousand visitors? That cannot be answered at this time. Mozaiek Veenendaal, from which Mozaiek010 emerged, reached its current size after about three years. What makes these evangelical megachurches and especially Mozaiek so special? To ascertain that, a number of identity markers were named and applied liturgically in order to point out the differences from ordinary churches and that shows how this format of praise and worship is so attractive to young people.

Download the thesis here (published in Dutch)


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