The Matsouanist religion in Congo-Brazzaville has its roots in Amicale, a
sociopolitical association and movement that aimed to improve the rights of colonial
subjects that emerged in the late 1920s. After its leader, André Matsoua, died in prison,
the movement transformed into a religion that worships Matsoua as a prophet. In this
article, I argue that this transformation should be understood not as a rupture but as
continuation, albeit in a different discursive domain. This transformation was steered
by duress, or the internalization of structural violence in everyday life under colonialism.
Through this discursive transformation, Matsoua’s followers appropriated the
movement and brought it into a culturally known place that enabled them to continue
their struggle for liberation from colonial oppression.