International Journal of Public Theology 4, 446-465. Although Christianity, couched as it was in western civilisation, brought some relief to Africa in freeing it from some of its woes (albeit, in some cases, only partially - e.g. Preaching in a context of poverty. While Christianity was made the … General Education was the responsibility of missionary societies and "was to be primarily concerned with reading and writing with a view to proselytise and to train African teachers" (Urch 1971:254). The Protestant churches, in particular, were advocates of mass education, because of their emphasis on the need for all believers to read the Bible in his or her own language. As a result, it is true to say that the African health landscape changed for the better: there was a decline in child and maternal mortality rates, and an increase in the life expectancy of all Africans. The indignity of this oppression and inequality, as well as the expressed desire for their total demise, were expressed clearly in the famous words of Nelson Mandela in his inaugural speech as South Africa's first democratically elected president on 10 May 1994: "Never, never, and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world" (Johnson 2009:498). Partially as a result of this, Africans in South Africa consciously chose and used African, rather than Christian, names (Pityana 1999:138). Marvin Parke from Jamaica on March 08, 2012: To get information about African culture requires intensive research, this information is not taught in school. Of course, the picture is not all rosy. South Africa is however a democratic country in which freedom of speech is guaranteed. (Bacon 211 - 214). Christianity and the Igbo/African culture are compatible to a high degree, and there is need to bring the two into a mutual relationship for the sake of the many African Christians who are in a dilemma today. Christianity and Islam are the cause of almost all the wars and tribal conflicts in Africa today. 1999. South Africa’s Dutch and British colonial heritage is preserved in the fact that both English and the Dutch-derived Afrikaans are official languages alongside numerous local languages like IsiZulu and IsiXhosa. Conversion to Christ and the advancement of his kingdom necessitates transformation and this, in turn, is not only related to certain democratic values but, importantly, is based on true love for God and for one's fellow human beings. Regarding the socio-political impact of the Christian churches in South Africa, Garner (2000:313) writes as follows: As a force of social change, the mainline churches have experienced two peaks. Pretoria: CP Powell Bible Centre, University of South Africa. A decade later, in the 1940s, Dr Xuma, a Christian medical practitioner, was the ANC President. Once it was introduced to Africa, Christianity slowly spread from Alexandria to Ethiopia. Investing in Africa is sound business and a sustainable corporate strategy. Woodberry & Shah (2004:55) make the following remarks: "Missionaries and their supporters were the main lobbyists for the immediate abolition of slavery and other forms of forced labor in the colonies, and were also often in the front rank of opposition to the officially sanctioned opium trade, the violent excesses of some colonial officials, and the tendency of European settlers to expropriate native land." 2009. Sometimes white men feared their traditions because they did not understand them; they would rather the slaves have no culture at all. Thousands of people are killed in terrorist attacks that happen in the name of religion. It is clear that those who had tasted good and equal church education would be nostalgic for that education in a country dominated by hostile, apartheid ideology. Apart from all this, Christianity rose. Once Christianity got a good grip on the black community, they began forming their own church-like safe houses. It brought the people together again, allowing them to fight for true justice. Christianity without God. While some missionary enterprises focused exclusively on evangelisation, missionaries such as Livingstone displayed a holistic approach to the missionary enterprise. The encounter between Christianity and African traditional cosmologies produced a new situation, a situation with unique characteristics. In the fifteenth century, Christianity came to Africa’s coastlines through forts established by European slave traders. All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License, The Church History Society of Southern Africa, www.thearda.com/workingpapers/./img/revistas/she/v39n2/Church%20vs%20-Spirit%20Miles.p, http://www.guardian.co.uk/word/2011/dec/21/Jacob-zuma-blames-christianity, www.thefree-dictionary.com/Sub-Saharan+Africa, http://oxford-ictionaries.com/definition/americanenglish/Christianity. Philip could not reconcile the inhumane treatment of Africans with the Christian ethical demands of justice and respect for the human rights of all of God's people. This is probably why the colonial authorities neither disregarded nor ignored the role of missionaries in structuring the education machinery. Christians have built roads, orphanages, schools, hospitals, etc. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. It toyed with the slaves’ hope of freedom and made them believe that if they worked well, and were obedient, that they would be rewarded in the afterlife. The Alexandria-based church initially used Greek, and it was not until the late 2nd century that both the liturgy and the scriptures were translated into three native languages. The end of Christianity also means the systematic erosion of values like equal dignity and equal rights that both religious and secular people cherish." On the one hand, missionaries were the first to invest in medicine in a number of countries. His goal was to instigate behavioral changes in the slaves and suppress future rebellions. positive as well as negative impacts of the new religion on African people and on the position of African women through the characters present in the selected novels. 1. Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Science 298, 161-169. In later years, black Africans managed to salvage, at massive cost (including death), their self-respect, self-love and pride in their blackness, largely thanks to the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa. This, also in spite of the harsh treatment meted out by the authorities. Many were told that it was their duty to be a slave and that if they complied, they would be granted the rite of passage into heaven. By the 1800s believers from Europe and America, enraged by the slave trade, began establishing Christian missions in Africa. Accessed on 2012/12/10. Education and colonialism in Kenya. However, it is clear from this research that, as far as HIV and AIDS are concerned, that the church's assistance is limited to psychological, limited financial assistance, and house care - cooking, cleaning, occasional child care and so forth. Christianity is targeted by critics of colonialism because the tenets of the religion were used to justify the actions of the colonists. The slaves were utilizing a religion that was once only a white man’s religion to foster a community with a sense of hope and optimism. I shall also point out that Christianity initiated medical advances that improved the health of those who live in the region. Woodberry & Shah (2004:53) note: "Lutheran Pietists first promulgated the ideal of universal literacy, and literacy campaigns spread rapidly through the Protestant world.". He points out that the movement, led by committed Christian ministers and church members, was greatly influenced by Christian principles and values. (Raboteau, 222) It was the religion of the people around the slaves that enabled them to witness the many positive and negative sides of Christianity at this time. 4 UNCTAD, 2019, Economic Development in Africa. Another prominent London Missionary Society member for whom justice was non-negotiable was John Philip, who worked as a missionary in South Africa in 1820 and as superintendent of the London Missionary Society in South Africa until 1850 (Nkomazana 1998:47). [ Links ], Pityana, NB. Bacon stated that there were four main duties that the slaves must adhere to: 1) Duty and Behavior toward God. Pg. The white men separated African Americans who spoke the same language or who were related. The South African Council of Churches and opposition political parties castigated the President for his statements, statements which displayed gross disregard for the role of Christian churches in the liberation of South Africa. 1971. That one area is the field of Christian theology and Christian religious scholarship generally." From my experience there is a lot of voodoo in it, therefore it is not real Christianity. Pieterse echoes the words of the Most Reverend Trevor Huddleston in the foreword to Desmond Tutu's book Crying in the wilderness: the struggle for justice in South Africa, with reference to Dr Verwoerd's words: "Education for the native exists to equip him for certain forms of labour. 2011. 2003. The natives of West Africa experienced a loss of cultural identity due to the westernization the missionaries brought along with Christianity. Pityana (1999:137) attests to this: "Christianity declared some African practices pagan and the church was a pervasive influence on family practices." With this growth a great influence of Christianity was exerted on African life. Mass education fosters democracy by increasing exposure to democratic ideals, promoting economic growth and the rise of a middle class, and dispersing influence beyond a small elite. Finally, Christianity has bedevilled race relations in Africa generally. Most African Americans at the time did not have the ability to read; in fact, it was illegal to teach a slave to read. Many Christians in Africa have drawn upon their faith to survive and thrive, and to help their fellow human beings in numerous ways. The origin of formal education in sub-Saharan Africa: was British rule more benign? In 313 Constantine ended official persecution in the Roman Empire and in 380 Theodosius 1 recognized it as the state religion. This is how Christianity became a lifestyle, and this is especially true in sub-Saharan Africa. In his review article, Maxwell (1997:141) asserts: The expansion of Christianity in twentieth-century Africa has been so dramatic that it has been called 'the fourth great age of Christian expansion'. This limited selection of topics was the result of both time and space constraints. Wilberforce was totally against the horrors of slavery and every cruelty, to the extent that he was even called the "Conscience of Parliament". 2005. As far as education is concerned, this article recognises that education that focuses on holistic human development is a positive force, and a force that was introduced by Christianity. In the fifteenth century, Christianity came to Africa’s coastlines through forts established by European slave traders. Multiple Trajectories of Islam in Africa Islam had already spread into northern Africa by the mid-seventh century A.D., only a few decades after the prophet Muhammad moved with his followers from Mecca to Medina on the neighboring Arabian Peninsula (622 A.D./1 A.H.). This fact is also mentioned by Mtuze (2003:9), decrying the severity of the hurt caused to the Xhosas: "The expulsion and displacement of the amaXhosa from their original ancestral land was a wound that went deeper than the struggle for agricultural land, as land was associated with the burial places of revered ancestors, and kraals served as temples for sacrifices and other rituals." 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