Scriptural passages in the Bible pointed out that slaves must be obedient and that there is a path to freedom. On 17 August 2016, an article titled, “The Damning Effects Of Religion In Africa,” written by Kofi Asamoah Okyere was published on Modernghana.com in which the writer sought to establish a case that religion impeded the development of Africa.. Saint Mark's first convert in Alexandria was Anianus, a shoemaker who later was consecrated a bishop and became Patriarch of Alexandria after Saint Mark's martyrdom. (Turner 1994a:129). New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. This bitter conflict has led to wanton destruction of ‘Christianity and the African traditional religion(s): The postcolonial round of engagement’, Verbum et Ecclesia 32(1), Art. Great hub. There is an urgent need for dialogue between Christianity and African Indigenous Religion (AIR), because the present version of Christianity and the increase in … ... African Traditional Religion in Biblical Perspective, p. 78. In 1749, Thomas Bacon gave a sermon specifically to the black slaves of America. Society has given the impression that some of the slaves that were stolen from Africa were not already CHRISTIANS, Jews or any other ancient spiritual movements. There are other spiritual movements though. Pg. In Africa the traditional religions are a major source for the study of the African experience of God. You seem to have a good spirit which also allows different points of views to be shared without condemnation. Focusing on the positive aspects of this new religion, groups and gatherings of black people began to form to share a new set of collective goals and beliefs. Even though in the beginning it wasn’t acceptable for Negroes to be Christian, slave drivers made great efforts to eliminate the African culture. After the civil war, slavery was abolished, but there was still oppression and segregation of blacks. The African Americans were forced to leave behind their traditions, religions, and culture. “Turner’s rebelliousness was nurtured by his sense of divine calling.” (Williams 323). study will examine the undulating influence of Christian values on African culture, that is the good and the bad effects of the influence of Christian values especially on the religious and social aspects of culture. With his sermon, he sought to Christianize, justify, and mesmerize the slaves. Sometimes white men feared their traditions because they did not understand them; they would rather the slaves have no culture at all. People were afraid to cheat on other people. It was this new “religious enthusiasm [that] appealed greatly to the unlettered slaves, who identified with the kind of direct experience involved [with Christianity].” (Williams 216) Eventually, people saw a need to convert slaves to Christianity. I believe that with the advent of Christianity in parts of Africa, there has been a huge change is the amount of superstition. A classificatory system which attempts to distinguish the principal responses Che Rogers from Los Angeles, CA on August 23, 2014: I appreciate you taking the time to write a hub like this. Christianity points fingers to the beliefs of the Igbo culture. With Africa subjugated and dominated, the Western culture and European mode of civilisation began to thrive and outgrow African cultural heritage. Yet, African Americans resisted very little to conversion; it was only a matter of time before the slaves began to assume Christian identities. Hence, it cannot be avoided in the interaction between Christianity and African Traditional Religion. Moses was born in egypt (africa). Christianity captured their hearts and literally saved their souls. People saw that converting slaves to Christianity was a way to control them; but for the slaves, what began negatively would eventually come to benefit them. Every aspect of it cannot be described as original. The initiation of a Christian driven slave trade was a very detrimental blow to African culture; thus having a negative effect on the development of African Americans. Adherents of traditional religions in sub-Saharan Africa are distributed among 43 countries and are estimated to number over 100 million.. between African traditional religion and the Christian faith. This leads him into the whole area of theology of religions, in which the relationship between Christianity and other religions is currently the focus of lively debate. Your efforts are noteworthy but limited in perspective as it relates to the African slave religion. “Their knowledge of the Bible and Christian tradition was acquired entirely from hearing it preached.” (Williams 217). Since the introduction of slavery in the Americas in the early 1600’s, Christianity has had a powerful effect on the African American culture. The first is that the context of this article is sub-Sahara Africa. At first, few were converted because of the white mans’ aversion to and fear of black Christians, and the notion of them acquiring legal rights. While ATR has been often seen in negative terms, especially by early missionaries, later studies have demonstrated that ATR is not really what these outside observers earlier on assumed. Although the majority of Africans today are adherents of Christianity or Islam, African people often combine the practice of their traditional belief with the practice of Abrahamic religions. Just as the slave-traders captured Africans and brought them to the Americas, Bacon’s Sermons captured and converted many slaves to Christianity. These hidden societies, always held in secret, became known as the ‘invisible institution.’ When slaves got a chance, sometimes at night after working in the fields all day, they gathered around a fire to discuss Christian teachings. At some times travelling to Africa is necessary to gain insight. Once Christianity got a good grip on the black community, they began forming their own church-like safe houses. Do be indoctrinated with a European religion isn't my idea of a positive outcome when much of the old testament took place in africa. I checked out your profile so I can see that this subject is of utmost concern to you. There are multiple aspects of answering this question. The white men separated African Americans who spoke the same language or who were related. These statements await further exploration by African theologians. This was evident in the 1831 slave rebellion lead by Nat Turner. You've made some valid points that clearly offer some support for a differing viewpoint than what I've presented here. It wasn’t until the Great Awakening of the 1740’s that we saw appreciable mass conversion of black American’s. (Bacon 209-210). 3) Duty and behavior toward fellow servants. on account of the persistent marginalisation of African Traditional Religion (ATR) in Sierra Leone by Islam and Christianity, to investigate the place of ATR in inter-religious encounters in the country since the advent of Islam and Christianity. Furthermore, gender relations within the religious and cultural communities are a reflection of gender relations within broader society. The Church in Africa has expressed the need to liberate Christianity from Western dominance, in its teaching, in structures and power base and in developing forms of worship and communication which are appropriate to Africans, and enable them to make the gospel message their own. The power of the traditional gods is challenged by the survival of the missionary hut in the Evil Forest, in which, the unfortunate people, twins and ‘ogbanje’ children are thrown. Abstract: The inception, evangelization and missionary activities of Christianity and Islam in Nkusukum-Ekumfi-Enyan traditional area in the Central Region of Ghana resulted in the conversions of the indigenous people, mainly, from African Traditional Religion (ATR) to the two mission religions. However the most dominant ones in Ghana and Africa are Islam and Christianity, both accounting for more than 90% of religious adherents, with the rest, including traditional beliefs, having less than 10% of adherents. Christopher Wanamaker (author) from Arizona on August 23, 2014: Thank you reading my article. Ethiopia and egypt are the two most talked about countries in the bible. Many Slave-Masters denied their evangelization, for fear of an uprising or emancipation. Since 2013, traditional African religions are declared as the majority religion only in Togo. The whites’ Christianity said that slavery was just and that it was the slaves’ duty to be a slave. Bacon, Thomas, “Christianity Shapes American Slavery.” Religion in American history: A Reader. Pg. The African American slaves adapted the Christian religion to fit their needs; they blended old cultural elements with new Christian ideals. Slaves were often punished for speaking their native languages or taking part in African traditional rituals. Bacon also spent time talking about slaves’ behavior towards God, Mankind, and themselves. These are the societies whose religion reveal have a number of the basic features of all religions (Burnett 1995:57). The African Americans were forcibly and involuntarily brought to America to work as slaves under a new authority. Many Africans across the continent are becoming more open about the idea of blending of traditional African religious practices with various other religions, including Christianity and Islam. 1. As black Christian communities grew in size and strength, rebellions became more common. Therefore, the Christian ideals that were overheard were open to interpretation. Topic: The Impact of African Traditional Religious Beliefs and Cultural Values on Christian-Muslim Relations in Ghana from 1920 through the Present: A Case Study of Nkusukum-Ekumfi-Enyan traditional area of the Central Region. It definitely provokes thought. Asalways, I appreciate the comments and alternative perspective. Traditional African cultural practices paved the way for foreign way of doing things as Africans became fully ‘westernised’. (Bacon 211 - 214). Perhaps you never heard of the "Slaves Bible" where the scriptures that told of God's love for all mankind and scriptures that forbade slavery were eliminated for the White slave masters greed and rationalization. Many Christians hold that Christianity was brought to Egypt by the Apostle Saint Mark in the early part of the first century AD. Since it is a religion practised by living persons today, changes are to be expected. The traditional religions and worldviews do not have creeds, they do not have to be learnt, but caught, passed on and lived. Christianity was something that the white men did. Oh yes...rasta1 we don't call it voodoo,its called sangoma,we have a few African /cultural religious believes, I'm African.. and the Christian religion was used to enslave my fore fathers, Well I'm an atheist by choice and a chemist by trade (getting my doctrine in chemical engineering soon)good hub, great read but Christianity definitely outdated just like Thor /Neptune... hope the world catches up so we can realize together is the only way forward! 23-28, 216-219, 322-328. Surprisingly, according to history texts, the African American slaves resisted very little to conversion to Christianity. The long term affects of Christianity have had a negative effect because it was africa from whence Christianity got its origin. As things progressed, we eventually saw a distinct division between the Christianity of the whites, and the Christianity of the blacks. Not the one modern day christians will lead you to believe who looks blonde hair and blue eyes. 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. African traditional religions have been washed away, and especially with Christianity, they are viewed as pagan and heathen in nature. The early European missionaries brought Christianity to Africa and the religion was embraced by Africans. For many, Christianity is an answer for all their queries. These papyri are written in the Coptic script and are older than even the oldest Greek copies of the Bible ordered by Constantine in AD 312. This succession of Patriarchs has remained unbroken down to the present day, making the Egyptian Christian, or Coptic, Church one of the oldest Christian churches in existence. It seems Christianity has done the most in affecting the conscience of the black person in Africa. Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, in his Ecclesiastic History states that Saint Mark first came to Egypt between the first and third year of the reign of Emperor Claudius, which would make it sometime between AD 41 and 44, and that he returned to Alexandria some twenty years later to preach and evangelize. While Christianity brought many slaves together by creating communities, it held a completely different meaning for other Africans in slave-America. Before the arrival of Christianity, Islam and the other foreign religions, people were afraid to take other people's wives. Slaves had to be faithful and honest to their masters. This testifies to the enduring power of indigenous religion and its ability to domesticate Christianity and Islam in modern Africa. They developed their own churches, unsupervised by the white, and were able organize, plan, and establish slave escape routes and collective revolutions. 2) You [slaves] have souls that need to be saved. “The Invisible Institution.” Slave Religion. John Butler and Harry S. Stout. There are thousands of religions and denominations in this world. Traditional, animist religion saw humans as being subject to the whims of local gods. New York. However, in the end, Christianity had more of a positive impact on their culture; it first helped them deal with the horrors of a life of slavery, then provided an impetus to imagine and organize freedom, and finally it provided a basis for them to work towards the civil rights movement. The White Slave owner gave a "basterized" version of the scriptures and called it truth. Christianity first acted as a slight justification of slavery but then became a stepping-stone toward African American emancipation from it. It enabled the slaves to have fun, discuss and pass on escape route information, and just to ‘get away’ from life’s hardships. For them to lose their identity and their ancient history which much of the world's religions stem from has caused so much confusion within African American history. The history of religion has always intrigued me however I haven't had the time to really get deep into the heart of the issues. Evidence for this age comes in the form of the oldest Biblical papyri discovered in remote regions of Upper Egypt. I have a lot of experience with Africans in this community where I live now and the Jamacans that come to work on the farms when living back home. In a relatively short time, Africa has gone from having a majority of followers of indigenous, traditional religions, to being predominantly a continent of Christians and Muslims. Once Christianity got its origin because they did not understand them ; they would rather slaves. 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