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. ... African Traditional Religion in Biblical Perspective, p. 78. African Traditional Religion has been evolving; there is in it the element of continuity as well as discontinuity. 1. Once Christianity got a good grip on the black community, they began forming their own church-like safe houses. 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. ¬p±Š!Va‰†µÙ…þÄÀ8?„‡„’ò)Ï>€Üò—$J«QÓ¹ÉˤaËۑPVë¤ÃœOJˤE/à¸5;D?Ϩåáó~C| ٔ”, Microsoft Word - DLitt et Phil Thesis.doc. For many, Christianity is an answer for all their queries. Traditional, animist religion saw humans as being subject to the whims of local gods. A classificatory system which attempts to distinguish the principal responses They made many attempts to remove the slaves’ culture from them. Missiologists have worked more broadly on a correlation of Christianity with African culture as a whole, speaking in terms of an ethnotheology. “Turner’s rebelliousness was nurtured by his sense of divine calling.” (Williams 323). America’s Religions. At some times travelling to Africa is necessary to gain insight. Since Christianity came in contact with the traditional religion, there has always been a sharp conflict between traditionalists and Christians. 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. 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. Christianity captured their hearts and literally saved their souls. 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. 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. Before the arrival of Christianity, Islam and the other foreign religions, people were afraid to take other people's wives. But it also prolonged the slave experience for many African Americans, and attempted to hold control over their lives. Christianity was in North Africa with its Kingdoms long before the White man ever arrived and long before the slave trade. These statements await further exploration by African theologians. It wasn’t until the Great Awakening of the 1740’s that we saw appreciable mass conversion of black American’s. 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.. I believe that with the advent of Christianity in parts of Africa, there has been a huge change is the amount of superstition. 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. 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. 2) Duty and behavior toward the slave masters and mistresses. ˜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£¨ Thus, strictly speaking, religion in its pristine form is no longer in existence. The African traditional religion or voodoo has helped us a lot especially in shaping our moral standards and giving us a sense of identity. Traditional African cultural practices paved the way for foreign way of doing things as Africans became fully ‘westernised’. "You [slaves] must love God." Which means that slaves must be obedient to the masters, and are not to be Eye-servants. In this aspect, Christianity was a very good thing for the slaves to have come across. Hence, it cannot be avoided in the interaction between Christianity and African Traditional Religion. There are other spiritual movements though. Marvin Parke from Jamaica on March 08, 2012: To get information about African culture requires intensive research, this information is not taught in school. 215-256. Ethiopia and egypt are the two most talked about countries in the bible. While Christianity brought many slaves together by creating communities, it held a completely different meaning for other Africans in slave-America. People were afraid to cheat on other people. Great hub. The white men separated African Americans who spoke the same language or who were related. Changed the names and concepts around from african teachings and called it christianity. 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. 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. The traditional religions and worldviews do not have creeds, they do not have to be learnt, but caught, passed on and lived. I checked out your profile so I can see that this subject is of utmost concern to you. The whites’ Christianity said that slavery was just and that it was the slaves’ duty to be a slave. 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. Their conversion and adaptation to Christianity held many positive and negative effects for the African Americans. “Their knowledge of the Bible and Christian tradition was acquired entirely from hearing it preached.” (Williams 217). Since it is a religion practised by living persons today, changes are to be expected. Therefore, the Christian ideals that were overheard were open to interpretation. 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. 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. Yet, African Americans resisted very little to conversion; it was only a matter of time before the slaves began to assume Christian identities. Slaves who were more docile and gullible would not be able free themselves from slavery; thus, it was a bad thing for them. The African Americans were forced to leave behind their traditions, religions, and culture. Bacon stated that there were four main duties that the slaves must adhere to: 1) Duty and Behavior toward God. Even though in the beginning it wasn’t acceptable for Negroes to be Christian, slave drivers made great efforts to eliminate the African culture. 23-28, 216-219, 322-328. It seems Christianity has done the most in affecting the conscience of the black person in Africa. The first is that the context of this article is sub-Sahara Africa. And finally: 3) You [slaves] have been baptized and wish to call yourself Christian. When the European settlers discovered the communities in Africa, they saw opportunities for advancement of their society. 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. 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. This is a pervasive religious worldview with a dominant and powerful influence on man in traditional Africa. The long term affects of Christianity have had a negative effect because it was africa from whence Christianity got its origin. People saw phenomena such as weather, disease and … Evidence for this age comes in the form of the oldest Biblical papyri discovered in remote regions of Upper Egypt. He used his interpretation of Christian beliefs to justify slavery. Surprisingly, according to history texts, the African American slaves resisted very little to conversion to Christianity. The adaptation of Christianity to the African American people made for an almost completely different religion. (Bacon 211 - 214). Since 2013, traditional African religions are declared as the majority religion only in Togo. It was Christian beliefs that ‘justified’ and led slaveholders to their actions. Oxford University Press, 1998. 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. 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. Che Rogers from Los Angeles, CA on August 23, 2014: I appreciate you taking the time to write a hub like this. Christianity has to address this traditional religious holism/organism and its pantheistic tendencies. precipitous decline of traditional cultural pursuits in the colonies. These are the societies whose religion reveal have a number of the basic features of all religions (Burnett 1995:57). In Africa the traditional religions are a major source for the study of the African experience of God. 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. Look forward to reading more of your hubs. They developed their own churches, unsupervised by the white, and were able organize, plan, and establish slave escape routes and collective revolutions. Adherents of traditional religions in sub-Saharan Africa are distributed among 43 countries and are estimated to number over 100 million.. (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. 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. Abstract: The inception, evangelization and missionary activities of Christianity and Islam in New York. wˆéÄXw—ûëŽÈŽKæÖ»d*k¥kƒ¨ÿ 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. Christianity has an economic, religious and political roll in most places it has influenced and Africa is no exception. 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. And finally: 4) Duty and behavior to themselves. The African Americans were forcibly and involuntarily brought to America to work as slaves under a new authority. The African Americans were able to take what they heard and converse about the good things about Christianity had to offer them. This bitter conflict has led to wanton destruction of John Butler and Harry S. Stout. As things progressed, we eventually saw a distinct division between the Christianity of the whites, and the Christianity of the blacks. Your efforts are noteworthy but limited in perspective as it relates to the African slave religion. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. In 1749, Thomas Bacon gave a sermon specifically to the black slaves of America. Bacon gave three reasons why slavery was just: 1) God made men and [the slaves], and he made them to serve him. Every aspect of it cannot be described as original. Christopher Wanamaker (author) from Arizona on August 23, 2014: Thank you reading my article. 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. Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2002. presuppositions about life in a Traditional/Primal society. The Nature of Christian Values Christian values, unlike natural human values have a different source and reference point, It brought the people together again, allowing them to fight for true justice. Pg. Asalways, I appreciate the comments and alternative perspective. The Effects of Witchcraft and Sorcery Nearly all over Africa, death from natural cause does not exist. You seem to have a good spirit which also allows different points of views to be shared without condemnation. On the other hand, Christianity held a dream of freedom and hope for the slaves, which was a very positive thing. 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. Slaves were not to be secretive about anything and were supposed remember that God is always watching. Your article fails to recognize that Christianity was NEVER the white man's religion. 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. The early European missionaries brought Christianity to Africa and the religion was embraced by Africans. His goal was to instigate behavioral changes in the slaves and suppress future rebellions. “The Invisible Institution.” Slave Religion. 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 Many Slave-Masters denied their evangelization, for fear of an uprising or emancipation. Christianity helped control the slaves, but eventually aided in the end of slavery. 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. 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. between Christianity and African Traditional Religion. African Religion and its Influence on Christianity and Islam Traditional African religion has been the basis of spirituality for the people of Africa. (Turner 1994a:129). Pg. 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. Christianity first acted as a slight justification of slavery but then became a stepping-stone toward African American emancipation from it. 2) You [slaves] have souls that need to be saved. 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. No longer was reference made to African culture, it became barbarism. 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 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. Even though there was little resistance to conversion, most priests and missionaries spent their time converting whites. Marvin Parke from Jamaica on March 09, 2012: Jamaicans do not practice voodoo, that is what is shown on TV. Bacon’s sermon tried to modify the behavior of the slaves for the betterment of white society. The African American slaves adapted the Christian religion to fit their needs; they blended old cultural elements with new Christian ideals. 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. 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! As black Christian communities grew in size and strength, rebellions became more common. It enabled the slaves to have fun, discuss and pass on escape route information, and just to ‘get away’ from life’s hardships. 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. Conflict is a universal phenomenon that is inevitable in human interaction. 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. The revival Most African Americans at the time did not have the ability to read; in fact, it was illegal to teach a slave to read. TRADITIONAL RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, PRACTICES AND IMPACTS OF CHRISTIANITY AMONG THE NYISHISI. Christianity points fingers to the beliefs of the Igbo culture. This testifies to the enduring power of indigenous religion and its ability to domesticate Christianity and Islam in modern Africa. Eds. #285, 10 pages. 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. Families were split apart and children were sold. Since the introduction of slavery in the Americas in the early 1600’s, Christianity has had a powerful effect on the African American culture. Separated from everyone and everything they ever knew, and in the face of fear and adversity, they found Christianity. 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. Moreover, a slave at this time needed to have his master’s permission to be baptized. 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