effects of christianity on african traditional religions pdf

Eds. Christianity was undoubtedly the religion created by those who conquered african nations. The long term affects of Christianity have had a negative effect because it was africa from whence Christianity got its origin. Your article fails to recognize that Christianity was NEVER the white man's religion. 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. “The Invisible Institution.” Slave Religion. “Turner’s rebelliousness was nurtured by his sense of divine calling.” (Williams 323). Christianity points fingers to the beliefs of the Igbo culture. between Christianity and African Traditional Religion. TRADITIONAL RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, PRACTICES AND IMPACTS OF CHRISTIANITY AMONG THE NYISHISI. Religion and culture as powerful institutions within society play a major role in shaping gender roles and perpetuating gender inequality and are powerful institutions within society. Since 2013, traditional African religions are declared as the majority religion only in Togo. Separated from everyone and everything they ever knew, and in the face of fear and adversity, they found Christianity. Bacon gave three reasons why slavery was just: 1) God made men and [the slaves], and he made them to serve him. 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. In this aspect, Christianity was a very good thing for the slaves to have come across. Yeshua was said to have come from the tribe of judah who all married cannanite women (descendants of ham) more evidence of an African messiah. 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. The term “Primal” is used to refer to religions which were there prior to the so-called “universal” religions such as Christianity, Islam, etc. The African Americans were forced to leave behind their traditions, religions, and culture. Traditional, animist religion saw humans as being subject to the whims of local gods. There are other spiritual movements though. The early European missionaries brought Christianity to Africa and the religion was embraced by Africans. Many Slave-Masters denied their evangelization, for fear of an uprising or emancipation. It definitely provokes thought. Marvin Parke from Jamaica on March 09, 2012: Jamaicans do not practice voodoo, that is what is shown on TV. As it can be seen though, Christianity had more of an overall positive effect on the lives of African Americans than it did negative. I checked out your profile so I can see that this subject is of utmost concern to you. Christianity now was the glue that held the black communities together and pushed them forward towards and through to the civil rights movement. 1. While Christianity brought many slaves together by creating communities, it held a completely different meaning for other Africans in slave-America. In particular, what is known variously as indigenous Christianity or independent churches have arisen throughout sub-Saharan Africa and prob- ably represent the largest current manifestation of traditional African religion, albeit in a pluralist context. African religious traditions were considered ‘primitive’ or even ‘uncivilized’ by the slave masters. 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. Christianity was something that the white men did. Abstract: The inception, evangelization and missionary activities of Christianity and Islam in The adaptation of Christianity to the African American people made for an almost completely different religion. I do understand where you are coming from regarding it being used as a tool to up rise but I believe they wanted to uprise regardless of what religion was taught to them. Christianity has to address this traditional religious holism/organism and its pantheistic tendencies. Bacon, Thomas, “Christianity Shapes American Slavery.” Religion in American history: A Reader. 207-214, Raboteau, Albert. These statements await further exploration by African theologians. John Butler and Harry S. Stout. Pg. Traditional African cultural practices paved the way for foreign way of doing things as Africans became fully ‘westernised’. It was Christian beliefs that ‘justified’ and led slaveholders to their actions. Therefore, the Christian ideals that were overheard were open to interpretation. This showed the whites that Christianity (and other religions) were not really creating peaceful slaves, but were actually promoting communities that were capable of rising up against the slave-masters. Christopher Wanamaker (author) from Arizona on August 23, 2014: Thank you reading my article. The White Slave owner gave a "basterized" version of the scriptures and called it truth. Hence, it cannot be avoided in the interaction between Christianity and African Traditional Religion. 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! This testifies to the enduring power of indigenous religion and its ability to domesticate Christianity and Islam in modern Africa. Pg. The white men separated African Americans who spoke the same language or who were related. Christianity captured their hearts and literally saved their souls. 2) Duty and behavior toward the slave masters and mistresses. 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. Which means that the slaves were supposed to look to God as the master of masters. Since the introduction of slavery in the Americas in the early 1600’s, Christianity has had a powerful effect on the African American culture. Slaves were not to be secretive about anything and were supposed remember that God is always watching. Conflict is a universal phenomenon that is inevitable in human interaction. For many, Christianity is an answer for all their queries. Oxford University Press, 1998. Even though in the beginning it wasn’t acceptable for Negroes to be Christian, slave drivers made great efforts to eliminate the African culture. African Traditional Religion has been evolving; there is in it the element of continuity as well as discontinuity. "You [slaves] must love God." 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. Ethiopia and egypt are the two most talked about countries in the bible. Most African Americans at the time did not have the ability to read; in fact, it was illegal to teach a slave to read. Look forward to reading more of your hubs. 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. Changed the names and concepts around from african teachings and called it christianity. Traditional African approaches in the light of natural values, and of modern secular attitude If we are going to speak of traditional African concepts and customs regarding marriage and the family, a few clarifications are called for. (Bacon 211 - 214). 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. The Europeans, however, unfortunately did not take into consideration the culture of the Africans like Polygamy, mode of dressing, mode of worship and other peculiar traits of the Africans. You must “love him with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Other godly duties include: worship through prayer, fear, reverence of God, and truth. 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. Missiologists have worked more broadly on a correlation of Christianity with African culture as a whole, speaking in terms of an ethnotheology. Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2002. It seems Christianity has done the most in affecting the conscience of the black person in Africa. Christianity first acted as a slight justification of slavery but then became a stepping-stone toward African American emancipation from it. Slaves who were more docile and gullible would not be able free themselves from slavery; thus, it was a bad thing for them. Moses was born in egypt (africa). M2E.TÄÚo®éHÖ"­»xqü}3zƒç™Þ»èh‰ÌÃʡظAjièê2KÍ`Μ½6-éo Ha±Î7ë ‚š#¼_1«¢4Eîx֊ǭ B@#÷Ý~ƒÛa欐ȏ§èœe!ÃN´È+Ü_TõAáZ 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. This was evident in the 1831 slave rebellion lead by Nat Turner. In 1749, Thomas Bacon gave a sermon specifically to the black slaves of America. (Turner 1994a:129). It wasn’t until the Great Awakening of the 1740’s that we saw appreciable mass conversion of black American’s. He used his interpretation of Christian beliefs to justify slavery. (Bacon 209-210). The whites’ Christianity said that slavery was just and that it was the slaves’ duty to be a slave. Yet, African Americans resisted very little to conversion; it was only a matter of time before the slaves began to assume Christian identities. And finally: 3) You [slaves] have been baptized and wish to call yourself Christian. 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. People were afraid to cheat on other people. presuppositions about life in a Traditional/Primal society. ˜kGÕæ Õ[OoÑÁ—:G %uþŽSøE®˜ºÖ¸ÅKy‹Z•3 ¤¹ø ž|8G6D‘Q*cêŽ{iµá´]W\p˜™ßPú&–×5g¯#Eë©ÜaUÞn¨4Ðnϝì ãÿ`³åßAÆHE$åGœJð fÔWF1¢¯¾Ëa⣞ñ£¨ “African Traditional Religion” (ATR) is the term used for the indigenous religious traditions of Africa. Great hub. 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. The African Americans were able to take what they heard and converse about the good things about Christianity had to offer them. Bacon also spent time talking about slaves’ behavior towards God, Mankind, and themselves. Just as the slave-traders captured Africans and brought them to the Americas, Bacon’s Sermons captured and converted many slaves to Christianity. Slaves had to be faithful and honest to their masters. Scriptural passages in the Bible pointed out that slaves must be obedient and that there is a path to freedom. Pg. 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. The African American slaves adapted the Christian religion to fit their needs; they blended old cultural elements with new Christian ideals. 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. Families were split apart and children were sold. 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. And finally: 4) Duty and behavior to themselves. It brought the slaves back together after generations of separation by creating communities and enabling them to organize and start a revolution ultimately leading to the end of slavery. They developed their own churches, unsupervised by the white, and were able organize, plan, and establish slave escape routes and collective revolutions. Furthermore, gender relations within the religious and cultural communities are a reflection of gender relations within broader society. Not the one modern day christians will lead you to believe who looks blonde hair and blue eyes. When the European settlers discovered the communities in Africa, they saw opportunities for advancement of their society. 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. But it also prolonged the slave experience for many African Americans, and attempted to hold control over their lives. Spiritual conflicts exist between African Traditional Religion and Christianity. Your efforts are noteworthy but limited in perspective as it relates to the African slave religion. Asalways, I appreciate the comments and alternative perspective. between African traditional religion and the Christian faith. This bitter conflict has led to wanton destruction of Christianity was in North Africa with its Kingdoms long before the White man ever arrived and long before the slave trade. 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.. A classificatory system which attempts to distinguish the principal responses With Africa subjugated and dominated, the Western culture and European mode of civilisation began to thrive and outgrow African cultural heritage. Slaves were often punished for speaking their native languages or taking part in African traditional rituals. It enabled the slaves to have fun, discuss and pass on escape route information, and just to ‘get away’ from life’s hardships. 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. Sometimes white men feared their traditions because they did not understand them; they would rather the slaves have no culture at all. (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. Even though there was little resistance to conversion, most priests and missionaries spent their time converting whites. These are the societies whose religion reveal have a number of the basic features of all religions (Burnett 1995:57). The Nature of Christian Values Christian values, unlike natural human values have a different source and reference point, After the civil war, slavery was abolished, but there was still oppression and segregation of blacks. 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. Ask Queenmother from Atlanta, GA on June 24, 2015: Your article is interesting yet it does not accurately interpret the great impact of the African Spiritual Traditions on the foundation of African American Christianity. 3) Duty and behavior toward fellow servants. 215-256. On the other hand, Christianity held a dream of freedom and hope for the slaves, which was a very positive thing. Christianity was embraced and spread rapidly in Africa because of factors inherent in its culture, such as African religiosity and the sense of being celebratory of life, which both go with communal existence. 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. It brought the people together again, allowing them to fight for true justice. The revival Introduction Complex systems of beliefs in the spiritual qualities of nature and at the sametime the conception of a Supreme Being are the two significant traits whichcharacterises the traditional religion of Nyishi people. Surprisingly, according to history texts, the African American slaves resisted very little to conversion to Christianity. The African Americans were forcibly and involuntarily brought to America to work as slaves under a new authority. 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. 23-28, 216-219, 322-328. 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. Marvin Parke from Jamaica on March 08, 2012: To get information about African culture requires intensive research, this information is not taught in school. As things progressed, we eventually saw a distinct division between the Christianity of the whites, and the Christianity of the blacks. 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. Roman Christianity helped control the slaves, but eventually aided in the end of slavery. 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. Communities were more capable of rebellion than a single individual. No longer was reference made to African culture, it became barbarism. You seem to have a good spirit which also allows different points of views to be shared without condemnation. African traditional religions have been washed away, and especially with Christianity, they are viewed as pagan and heathen in nature. I believe that with the advent of Christianity in parts of Africa, there has been a huge change is the amount of superstition. Bacon stated that there were four main duties that the slaves must adhere to: 1) Duty and Behavior toward God. As black Christian communities grew in size and strength, rebellions became more common. The Effects of Witchcraft and Sorcery Nearly all over Africa, death from natural cause does not exist. New York. Their conversion and adaptation to Christianity held many positive and negative effects for the African Americans. There are thousands of religions and denominations in this world. 2) You [slaves] have souls that need to be saved. Williams, Peter. doi:10.4102/ ve.v32i1.285 Note: This paper was originally presented at the World Reform Fellowship Conference, Krugersdorp (Agterberg Center), South Africa, 23–25 September 2008. My article is a short synopsis of a very issue which was written from the point of view of the 4 references that I cited. At some times travelling to Africa is necessary to gain insight. There are multiple aspects of answering this question. 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. Thus, strictly speaking, religion in its pristine form is no longer in existence. America’s Religions. The first is that the context of this article is sub-Sahara Africa. ¬p±Š!Va‰†µÙ…þÄÀ8?„‡„’ò)Ï>€Üò—$J«QÓ¹ÉˤaËۑPVë¤ÃœOJˤE/à¸5;D?Ϩåáó~C| ٔ”, Microsoft Word - DLitt et Phil Thesis.doc. Before the arrival of Christianity, Islam and the other foreign religions, people were afraid to take other people's wives. wˆéÄXw—ûëŽÈŽKæÖ»d*k¥kƒ¨ÿ From my experience there is a lot of voodoo in it, therefore it is not real Christianity. In Africa the traditional religions are a major source for the study of the African experience of God. 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. There is an urgent need for dialogue between Christianity and African Indigenous Religion (AIR), because the present version of Christianity and the increase in … The long term affects of Christianity have had a negative effect because it was africa from whence Christianity got its origin. The beliefs and practices of the traditional religions in Africa can enrich Christian theology and spirituality." Every aspect of it cannot be described as original. 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. Since Christianity came in contact with the traditional religion, there has always been a sharp conflict between traditionalists and Christians. Christianity has an economic, religious and political roll in most places it has influenced and Africa is no exception. ... African Traditional Religion in Biblical Perspective, p. 78. “Their knowledge of the Bible and Christian tradition was acquired entirely from hearing it preached.” (Williams 217). This is a pervasive religious worldview with a dominant and powerful influence on man in traditional Africa. African Religion and its Influence on Christianity and Islam Traditional African religion has been the basis of spirituality for the people of Africa. Many of the early missionaries had a goal to create a more docile and obedient slave by feeding them select bits and pieces of Christian scripture. Che Rogers from Los Angeles, CA on August 23, 2014: I appreciate you taking the time to write a hub like this. Bacon’s sermon tried to modify the behavior of the slaves for the betterment of white society. Evidence for this age comes in the form of the oldest Biblical papyri discovered in remote regions of Upper Egypt. Africa's influential university departments of religion have usually approached the theme in terms of establishing correlations between Christianity and Africa's traditional religions. Moreover, a slave at this time needed to have his master’s permission to be baptized. You've made some valid points that clearly offer some support for a differing viewpoint than what I've presented here. Which means that slaves must be obedient to the masters, and are not to be Eye-servants. 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. They made many attempts to remove the slaves’ culture from them. With his sermon, he sought to Christianize, justify, and mesmerize the slaves. 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. People saw phenomena such as weather, disease and … Many Christians hold that Christianity was brought to Egypt by the Apostle Saint Mark in the early part of the first century AD. His goal was to instigate behavioral changes in the slaves and suppress future rebellions.
effects of christianity on african traditional religions pdf 2021