The incursion of colonial masters into the entity we now call Nigeria brought Christianity to the people. In this article, I will support the above thesis by countering Mr Okyere’s arguments about the undesirable character of Christianity and then conclude with a little explanation of what the core Christian teaching is. This religion has had a profound effect on the social and political development of modern Africa. On The Nature Of Politics: An Open Letter To The Christian Politician, Catch up on the latest news videos from around the world, Live updates: Ghanaians go to the polls today. We begin to exalt commitment over feelings, forgiveness over anger, patience over shortcuts, honesty over deception and sacrifice over comfort. Such an argument clearly will be dead on arrival. For your custom-made paper, report, or article; kindly call 0703 022 8325. Missionaries made a point of ensuring that hospitals and other health facilities were erected in their area of missionary activity. For instance, missionaries and their supporters were the main lobbyists for the immediate abolition of slavery and other forms of forced labor in the whole of Africa. There was a liveliness, a curiosity, an engagement with the world - a directness in their dealings with others - that seemed to be missing in traditional African life. Your email address will not be published. The Congress of Berlin, held between 1884 and 1885, laid out the rules for European colonization, meaning in the 30 years following, European countries divided up newly colonized territories in a series of bilateral agreements. About his observations, Mr Parris, confessed, “It confounds my ideological beliefs, stubbornly refuses to fit my world view, and has embarrassed my growing belief that there is no God.” I will refer to some of his observations in my responses to the points raised in Mr Okyere’s article. Why Would A Loving God Send People To Hell? Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Background. Required fields are marked *. We see this in our national politics all the time. In places where Africans had practiced a separate form of religion, had their own societal rules and ethical laws Western Christianity was imposed as a method of guised colonialism. The importance of Christianity in the introduction of health care and medical science is captured in the following statement: “… Christian missions have been almost everywhere the introducer of western medical, surgical, and public health methods, and the pioneer trainer of Nigerians and Africans in these skills.”. Your email address will not be published. Today, HIV infection and AIDS are particularly prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. In this column, we will show that Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa had long-lasting consequences on development. One of the primary effects of the spread of Islam into North Africa was the acceptance of the Arabic language. Also read: Positive and negative effects of globalization. Two thousand years of Christianity […] Women. Religion is a major cause of physical conflicts and doctrinal disputes in Africa and the world as a whole. Election of Speaker of the 8th Parliamen, GJA charges police to investigate death threats against Mana, I pray for an end to election votes buying – Apostle Onyinah, You have enough reason to thank the Lord — Evangelist Atats, Christians must stop cravings for inordinate earthly materia, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu Has Been Vindicated on Mahama Concession F, Dr Bawumia to lead the NPP; Northerners & Zongos are watchin, Be Decorous When Discussing About Our Presidential Candidate, What Has "Otani Gyimifoc" Have To Do With Agyapa Royalties L, Jean Mensa Forgot; She Could Have Aborted The 2 Kids. Christianity, as a book religion and as an institution concerned with moral life of the black people has made a significant contribution in the introduction and continued development of formal western education in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa. the influence of Christianity on Africans’ lives is extremely significant. This is the kind of real transformation Mr Parris observed in the African Christians which led him to conclude his article saying: “Those who want Africa to walk tall amid 21st-century global competition must not kid themselves that providing the material means or even the knowhow that accompanies what we call development will make the change. Interestingly, this is precisely the message of Christianity - there is something desperately wrong (the Bible calls it sin) in the heart of man and Jesus holds the remedy. In this article, we focused on the positive impacts of Christianity in Nigeria. Hence, Christianity would provide principles for moral guidance, while legitimate commerce and education would encourage Nigerians to produce their own goods and to trade with Europeans. Furthermore, they believed that the commitment of Christian men and women to root out slavery was akin to Christ’s commitment and resolves to save the world. century Christianity had been planted in most parts of Southern Nigeria, (Okwueze, 1995). The goal in introducing medical services in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa was to provide Africans with a more holistic service, given that, as far as the African is concerned, there is no separation between the physical and the spiritual dimension of human life. They stood tall.”. The Africans affected lost a large part of their sense of identity, self-respect, pride in their blackness etc. We shall begin by examining the term ‘Christianity’ before discussing the impact of Christianity in Nigeria in terms of education, socio-politics, and health. However, African Christianity ultimately developed its own special character in which local traditions played a role. 344 Numerous scholars have drawn attention to the flourishing of Christianity in contemporary Africa in such a way that they underline a critical shift in the epicenter of Christianity from the North to the South. He gave two definitions of religion as follows: “Religion can be loosely defined as a belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny. ", I pray for an end to election votes buying – Apostle Onyinah The full list is shown in the table below, with current population and subregion (based on the United Nations official statistics). Modern Europe still feeds itself from this religious source. 2 hours ago, You have enough reason to thank the Lord — Evangelist Atats... in the partition of Africa", in Journal of African Studies, 3, 2, 1976, 183-203, 184 & 186. This requirement necessitated serious education initiatives on the part of Christian missionaries. The last debt crisis in 2005 was resolved with help from the heavily indebted poor countries scheme (HIPC). 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. effects of missionaries in East Africa They spread Christianity and baptized many converts. Even the USA’s declaration of independence document which has shaped that nation was drafted by men largely influenced by a Judeo/Christian worldview. There is a direct link between religion and laziness which contributes to poverty in Africa; religion makes people lackadaisical in their attitude towards finding practical ways to improve their undesirable living conditions. 2 hours ago, When You Run Your Own Race, Life Won’t Fail You, Gabby Otchere writes on NDC Presidential Election Conundrum, Who wears the robe? All of them were imbedded in positive and negative categories as explained by;- The missionary societies converted the west African people and generally in the whole of Africa into Christianity. Nonetheless, there are people who trust the church’s ability to help, especially as a result of the church’s teaching influence, which specifically warns against indulging in risky sex behavior. His recommendation, therefore, was that African societies should put less focus on religion and a major focus on science, technology and critical thinking as this will move our development goals forward. In ancient cultures, a wife was the property of her husband. Furthermore, church education opened people’s minds to democratic ideals. Aristotle said that a woman was somewhere between a free man and a slave. This is what Christians call the new birth – our natural desires and inclinations are remoulded and redirected: our desire for power turns into a love for humility and service. More importantly, the church also provides people living with HIV with a community. Regarding the claim of that various sects and religions believing that their way is the approved one, it rather goes to show what we all know by common experience of the nature of men and of the nature of truth. However, it is clear 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. Africa, and specifically Nigeria is subject to many problems, including corruption, greed, continued sexual immorality and violence. Further, women were generally not educated nor were they allowed any active role in the affairs of religion yet Jesus allowed Martha's sister, Mary, to sit at his feet in the role of a disciple while Jesus taught her. Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa in general has been known for being a “home” to a myriad of diseases and epidemics, that plagued the people of this region for centuries before the introduction of medical science. In other words, the West has abandoned God but is still stealing from God. 8. Some missionaries believed that the Lord had raised people up for the good of His church and for the good of the nation. In other words, Christian missionaries were aggressively vocal against the injustices meted out to, and oppression of, the native inhabitants. But truth by its nature is exclusive and does not include in itself contradictory claims. The abolition of slavery by the British parliament in 1807 was largely due to the work of William Wilberforce, a deeply religious member of parliament. Here are ten ways missions has impacted Africa. However, the ugly side of Chrisitianity in Africa cannot be ignored. The missionaries’ fight for justice helped to introduce certain humane considerations and actions into the activities carried out by the colonial authorities. In parts of Nigeria, mission work would not be complete without serious attention to health care. It can also refer to the institutionalisation of such beliefs and their practices.” His points may be summarized as follows: He placed some emphasis on Christianity since it is a dominant religion in Ghana and also a religion he once practised. The Oxford University Press Dictionaries (2012), has the following to say about Christianity: “The religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices …It originated among the Jewish followers of Jesus of Nazareth, who believed that he was the promised Messiah (or ‘Christ’) … In 313, Constantine ended official persecution in the Roman Empire and in 380, Theodosius 1 recognized it as the state religion. Recall the Scottish missionary Mar Slessor, who stopped the killing of twins in coastal towns of southern Nigeria. Many governments in Africa use religion as a vehicle to incite disaffection among people in a bid to advance their political interests. The language of the document betrays this fact: “… We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. In order words, the phenomenon help to put an end to some of the traditional religion rituals conducted by sacrificing human being to appease the gods. Lack of Progress: Overtly religious societies cannot progress as they do not allow free thinking. Yet Jesus had a long and personal conversation with a Samaritan woman at Jacob's well which even led to her conversion (John 4:4-30, 39-42). It is not surprisingly, therefore, literacy rates till today remain higher in Christian dominated regions of Nigeria compared to Islam-dominated areas. This is where Jesus Christ stands unrivalled among the founders of all the world religions. Regards! So quite clearly any professing follower of Jesus who claims the Bible authorizes him to pick up arms against others who merely disagree with him is not going the way of Jesus and therefore cannot to be said to be representing Christ. . Copyright © 2017 ResearchCyber.com. In African thought, good health is regarded as equal to life itself, which is why health is among the highest aspirations of Nigerians and black Africans. Far from having cowed or confined its converts, their faith appeared to have liberated and relaxed them. 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. Any argument that a religion like Christianity which counts among its great teachers and apologists Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Luther, G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis (to name just a few great theological and apologetic minds) would need to learn critical thinking, betrays a narrow understanding of rationality and the nature of critical thinking. . 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 Nigerians. The arrival of Christian religion like the Moslem religion in Africa has a far-reaching effect on the society. This reduced the number of people who would have been Muslims and African traditionalists. …”. Rather, the cure lies in a stronger and more intelligent commitment to the Christian faith as faith. It was too obvious that what these people were in their character was actually influenced by a conception of man's place in the Universe that Christianity had taught. Does Christianity cause physical conflicts? Wherever Christian missionaries and workers have gone, there has been tremendous work in social reform. The heart of the Christian GospelThe problems enumerated in Mr Okyere’s article go to show that it is the heart of man that is depraved. The introduction of medical services in Christian mission stations contributed a great deal to the good health enjoyed by Nigerians converts to Christianity, particularly because this integrated approach to health care also eliminated the many epidemics which, historically, had ravaged the Nigerian and African population. For example, Toyin Falola asserts that there were some missionaries who believed that "the agenda of colonialism in Africa was similar to that of Christianity". Historically speaking, it cannot be gainsaid that Christians have been very proactive when it comes to the establishment of hospitals, schools and NGOs that are helping to alleviate poverty in Africa. Christianity in Africa arrived in Egypt in the middle of the 1st century. Does Christianity discourage Science and curiosity? Religion in Africa does not encourage creativity, invention or critical thinking, because of its conservative or static. As the writer and one-time Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English Literature at Cambridge, C. S. Lewis, once noted, men became scientific because they believed there was law in nature and they believed there was law in nature because they believed in a law Giver. Does Christianity discriminate against women? It is only possible when religion is not adopted as the way of life. Ordinary Jews, not to talk of Rabbis, did not speak to Samaritans, and surely not to Samaritan women. In order for Christianity to make significant progress in its evangelization activities, Nigerian people’s literacy and numeracy had to improve. Matthew Parris, describing his observation of the Christians he found in Malawi and across the continent, wrote: “The Christians were always different. Most religious groups discriminate against women in so many ways. Mark the Evangelist made history in the year 43 when he became the first bishop to serve in the Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Now ‘more religion’ here does not mean that the cure for religiously induced evils lies in increased blind religious zeal (which is at the very heart of the problems observed by Mr Okyere in his article). In his message entitled “We are members one of another» (Eph 4:25) From social network communities to the human community, released on the feast day of St Francis de Sales, Patron Saint of Journalists, the Pope underlines that the Internet and social media are an important resource. For 18 years he regularly introduced anti-slavery motions in Parliament. The HIPC resulted in some positive and negative effects on the economy in Africa. Rather than only pointing you to some enlightening great teachings and deep truths, he, by his power, transforms hearts that are dead to God into hearts that are alive to God. So rather than being static and un-progressive, biblical Christian teaching enables men to be curious and creative. Christianity found its way to Sudan in the 1st century as well, and the region's Nubian churches had links to those in Egypt. The ones who have power are called colonists whereas the indigenous people make up the colonies. FEATURED: Live Updates: Ghanaians Go To The Polls... 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. Research Cyber Team hopes this article was helpful. Jesus even encouraged Martha to do likewise (Luke 10:38-42). By the end of the 2nd century it had reached the region around Carthage.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. Even Jesus himself cautioned his followers not to live by the sword (Matthew 26:52). Religious doctrines create a sense of fear or timidity in its adherents. The article showed how Christianity affected Nigeria, in terms of education, socio-political life, and in health. 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, ... 2 Louis Brenner (ed. As one scholar has warned, any time a text is taken out of its context it can become an excuse for justifying anything at all. The traders and missionaries believed an educated population to be a precondition for the spread of commerce and Christianity; the first European educational ventures were a direct product of their activities. The old adage stands true that a philosophy ought not to be judged based on its abuse. Christianity is far more than just pie in the sky in the sweet bye and bye. Political tool: Thus, the advent of colonial masters led to the introduction of a new religion, Christianity, which is added to the two available religions, African traditional religion already exiting then. Our findings show that Christianity have been significant in all the three spheres of life. Africa is now at risk of being in debt once again, particularly in Sub-Saharan African countries. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If a preacher gives an interpretation of a certain passage, we can always check with the Bible and the context of the passage. Jesus defied the tradition of his time and treated women in a much more equal and dignifying way than was normal in the society of that time. Further truth always corresponds to reality. Any student of the history of modern science cannot deny that scientific inquiry grew out of a religious tradition. Some missionary enterprises did not just focus on evangelization, but displayed a holistic approach to the missionary enterprise encompassing the whole spectrum of human activity, which included commerce, Christianity, and civilization (meaning good government, education etc.). effects of colonialism in africa- positives & negatives Before we write indecently or read about how the colonization begins, it is, of course, important to know the effects on the structure of Africa, what it meant Africa doing, what it took from Africa and what it added to Africa as a continent, all of these will be looking into under a refined section. ), Muslim Identity and Social Change in Sub-Saharan Africa, London: Hurst & Company, 1993, p. 2 South Africa Correspondence to: David Adamo Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Postal address: Private bag X20 Hatfield, Pretoria 0028, South Africa Dates: Received: 06 Oct. 2009 Accepted: 11 May 2011 Published: 31 Oct. 2011 How to cite this article: Adamo, D.T., 2011, ‘Christianity and the African traditional religion(s): The postcolonial round of People (even non-religious ones) have different ways of understanding and interpreting things; some are reasonable, others are not. Negative Effects of Religion 1. The African Human Rights Law Journal (AHRLJ) is a peer-reviewed journal on human rights related topics in Africa. Catechists were also trained who helped in the spread of Christianity for example, in Uganda by 1911 many people had been converted and many cathedrals and churches were built like the Kikuyu churches (Charismatic Arathi or spirit churches.) Indeed, even Prof. Richard Dawkins, perhaps the most vociferous atheist of our time, admitted in a debate with Prof. John Lennox that science did grow out of a religious tradition. That a technology is being used by criminals to further their ends says more about the people using the technology than it does about the technology itself. The journal publishes articles on the work of African regional and sub-regional human rights bodies as well as the work of international bodies related to Africa. In fact, according to Matthew Parris, while working in Africa, he observed some of his African Christian work colleagues and confessed that it would have been convenient to believe (because of his worldview) that their honesty, diligence and optimism in their work was unconnected with personal faith but this did not fit the facts. Churches and missionaries advocated mass education, because of their emphasis on the need for all believers to read the Bible in his or her own language. It has no merit. Religion creates an avenue for many charlatans to parade as so-called men of God to fleece the poor of their meagre resources. Hence, they were totally against the horrors of slavery and every cruelty. Women were normally left to attend to domestic affairs at home but Jesus allowed women to travel with him and his twelve disciples (Luke 8:1-3). In a day when the prevailing mindset says that man is good at heart but society is to blame for his flaws, the words of Jesus Christ come echoing through the centuries in sharp contrast: “… from your heart”, says Jesus, “come the evil ideas which lead you to kill, commit adultery, and do other immoral things; to rob, lie, and slander others…” Matthew 15:19. style="margin-left:0px; margin-right:0px">But Jesus comes to us, not just with wise teachings and profound observations about human nature; he also gives us new hearts (like in the case of William Wilberforce) - hearts that beat after God's own heart - a new view of God, a new appreciation of the world and ourselves and also through his Holy Spirit he gives us the enabling power live as we ought to. Along with its colonial rivals, Britain was responsible for drawing international boundaries onto Africa in the late 1800s. The effects of the Christian missionaries on West Africa and Liberia definitely brought more results than just the spreading of Christianity but also contributed to changes in government, culture, tradition, language, and relationships. Perhaps, the motivation for the introduction of health care was primarily to create an environment that was conducive to the spread of the gospel. In particular, we show that the diversity of investments brought by Christian missionaries to the region had different, and sometimes conflicting, effects on long-term development. The influence of Christianity on SocietiesHistorians concede that it was Christianity that civilized barbarian Europe. 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