“The leaders of black churches, the clergy, originally came from African priests, and so they were looked upon as leaders of the community.” He adds, “At least in the 19th century, they were the most educated of the community. European missionaries especially from Portugal, France, Britain, and Germany went to Africa under the premise of going to convert the locals to Christianity. [On the other hand,] the Africans adapted Christianity for their survival and liberation.”. document.write(user + '@' + site + ''); document.write(user + '@' + site + ''); Entertainment site = "ghanaweb.com"; site = "ghanaweb.com"; The early Christian missionaries and missionaries worked hand in hand with the colonizers. Gifford, P. 1994. All rights reserved. … Journal of African History, xn, i (1971), pp. Important Africans who influenced the early development of Christianity include Tertullian, Perpetua, Felicity, Clement of Alexandria The Coptic orthodox church of Alexandria is an oriental orthodox Christian church in Egypt, northeast Africa and Middle East. user = "features"; African Affairs 93(373), 513-534. Would Africa’s economic development have been different without colonialism? The period from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s marked the zenith of imperial rule in Africa. Lifestyle, This Easter, over two billion Christians around the world will celebrate "the Resurrection of Christ," and a large percentage of them will be Black. They said colonialism was the will of God. but lacked the theoretical base. Most often both academic and non-intellectuals based on historical understanding conclude that Europeans brought or introduced Christianity to Africa. It is probably reasonable to note that the colonial scramble for and in Africa had its main support from the Christian missionaries. the missionary work of Saint Mark. century before this religion had really taken root anywhere in Dictionary of African Christian Biography "...an international project of biographies of "....Africans chiefly responsible for laying the foundations and advancing the growth of Christian communities in Africa." Christianity in Africa goes back to the earliest days of the church, when it spread along the Mediterranean and Red Sea coastlands of north and northeast Africa and their hinterlands. The limitations in the knowledge about what existed in Africa before colonial invasion can be attributed to lack of documentation to verify that knowledge and skills did exist in Africa long before what is known today. I will illustrate this by setting out the case of Pre-Colonial Botswana or Bechuanaland as it was called. Yes it did but not in Sub Saharan Africa. Trajectories in African Christianity. And so they emerged as political leaders…after the Civil War. Colonial Christianity also brought to Africa the concept of the Victorian woman: a woman who should stay in the private domain and leave the “real work” to the men. Indigenous African religions are by nature plural, varied, and usually informed by one’s ethnic identity, where one's family came from in Africa. Likewise, Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta mentions Christians in Nubia (an area that covers present-day northern Sudan and southern Egypt) in his 14th century travelogue. Mamiya points out, “Black churches helped to create the first Black banks, the first Black[-owned] life insurance company.”. The biblical Ark of the Covenant is now believed to be kept in St Mary of Zion’s Church in Axum, Ethiopia. [On the other hand,] the Africans adapted Christianity for their survival and liberation." With a new exhibit she has curated called “Ashe to Amen: African Americans and Biblical Imagery”, King-Hammond examines what Black people did with the religion once they were in America. [THE SPIRITUAL LIFE] 'Inner Fitness’ Coach Aims to Change the Way We Heal, Red Guerrilla Entertainment Releases Sneak Peek into the First Faith-Driven Superhero Universe, ‘BETTER DAYS', Janelle Monáe Talks Sexuality & The Baptist Church, Pastor John Gray Gives Church Tithes Directly to Congregation, [Spirit Quest] Ty Alexander on Missing Her Mother on Mother's Day, Rise Up: A Story of Faith, Fighting, Family and Healing, Artist Dianne Smith’s Powerful Tribute To Ntozake Shange’s Poem, [Spirit Quest] Holly Robinson Peete Gets Real About Reality TV, 24% of Christians live in Sub-Saharan Africa, The Black Church in the African American Experience, Christianity reportedly arrived in North Africa, the adoption of Christianity in Ethiopia dates to the fourth-century, The Bible also documents the conversion of an Ethiopian eunuch, Christian abolitionists argued that slavery defied the teachings of the Bible, Ashe to Amen: African Americans and Biblical Imagery, Black churches helped to create the first Black banks, first Black[-owned] life insurance company, first Black senator elected to Congress was the Reverend Hiram Revels. If you want to know more or withdraw your consent to all or some of the cookies, please refer to the privacy policy. And it is obvious the missionaries had Western values embedded in them. document.write(''); dark continent that is heading towards hell. In the 4th century, the Aksumite empire in modern-day Eritrea and Ethiopia became one of the first regions in the world to adopt Christianity as an official religion and the Nubian kingdoms of Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia followed two centuries later. But when Europeans penetrated Sub-Saharan Africa in the 16th Century, ultimately mining the region for Africans to enslave, the historical narrative shifts which is perhaps why many associate the religion most with Europeans to this day. Christianity spread throughout Egypt within half a century of Saint Mark’s arrival. Chat with us via WhatsApp on +233 55 2699 625. Christianity was thriving in the horn of Africa in the 1st However, there is ample In an attempt to augment political and regional influence, nations like Great Britain and France needed a justification … continent. The colonial governments used Christianity to entrench oppression in Africa. I will speak about Sub Saharan Africa and more particularly Southern Africa. Faith/Spirituality Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond is the author of the novel Powder Necklace and founder of the blog People Who Write. The Bible also documents the conversion of an Ethiopian eunuch as the early church was forming. // End --> This was the original model of colonialism brought by the Dutch in 1652, and subsequently exported from the Western Cape to the Afrikaner Republics of the Orange Free State and the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek. Christianity served as a major force in the partition and eventual colonization of Africa (Boahen 12). The purpose of this course will be to study the development of religion in Africa in the period before the European takeover of the continent. missionaries. So what happened was a situation where the Africans were taught to hate everything African and to accept the European way of living. Europeans at the time were in the majority heathen and did everything in their power to remain heathen. “Ashe to Amen” will be on display through May 26th at the Museum of Biblical Art in New York before traveling to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore and the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee. By 1900, when the force of the quick colonization was over, the majority of the land in Africa was divided up amongst seven different European colonizing nations: Britain, France, Spain, … [ Links ] Gifford, P. 2008. [ Links ] Good, CM. According to a 2007 Pew Report, 78% of Blacks in America identify as Protestant while a 2011 report by Pew notes that nearly 24% of Christians live in Sub-Saharan Africa. If Pax Romana is supposed to have spread the way for Christianity in the West, could the same be said of Pax Brittanica or Franca and Christianity in the East? By the end of the 2nd century it had reached the region around Carthage. There is evidence of improved economic development outcomes within the colonial peri… This said, many think of Christianity as "the White man's religion.". But long before colonialism and slavery, Africans were practicing Christianity. Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, historian, artist, curator and Dean of the Maryland Institute College of Art, observes, “many of the Africans who came to the New World, probably had already had contact with Christianity from missionaries who were stationed on the Continent.” Once in America, many Africans faced a confusing range of options with respect to the religion. Later, Nat Turner led a bloody slave revolt while Denmark Vesey plotted one, both citing Christian visions as their motivation. Subsequently displaced by Islam in the 7th and 8th centuries, the ancient Coptic and Orthodox churches nevertheless remain active in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Eritrea today. Before colonialism, sub-Saharan Africa was a subsistence economy; because of colonialism it became a monetized economy. Christianity was the religion of the Westerners. To a smaller extent, Germany and Italy had, too. before the advent of colonization and the coming of European It is recognizable that historically Christianity came to Sub-Sahara Africa in the 15th century but that cannot over shadow the fact that Christianity was already on the continent before the … Indigenous African religions are by nature plural, varied, and usually informed by one’s ethnic identity, where one’s family came from in … International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 8(4), 275-289. This is standard fare found in the writings of those who dislike Christianity. Yet today the myth of a pre-colonial sexual innocence, or more fittingly, ignorance, is used to endorse anti-gay legislation and stir up homophobia and persecution in Africa. . But long before colonialism and slavery, Africans were practicing Christianity. We have already mentioned Egypt’s literacy, Ethiopia was also literate and even had poetic forms such as the Qene and Mawandes as early as 1BC, predating Christianity and Islam, nullifying the possibility of having been … King-Hammond has been working with theologians, scholars and artists for the last 10 years, researching how artists visualized faith then and now. “The first Black senator elected to Congress was the Reverend Hiram Revels of Mississippi, an AME clergyman. The formalization of colonial rule was accomplished at the Christianity and Colonialism In Africa Starting as far back as the Monomotapa Empire in the 16th Century, Christian Missionaries began penetrating the African interior. and features to Health Christianity’s explosion across Africa led many to call for the Vatican to select a successor to Pope Benedict from the Continent with Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson among the suggested shortlist. Follow her on Twitter @nanaekua. There are plenty of objections which have been raised against Christianity over the centuries. To many European nations, Christianity represented western civilization and the basis for Anglo-Saxon morality.