We consider this a most significant project, and Christian History Institute was eager to help. The Black Elite that would form the vanguard of the African Nationalist movement had been largely educated at Missionary Schools. At the turn of the 20th century, Christianity was virtually nonexistent in many parts of Africa but is now the faith of the majority, as the following figures demonstrate: Other African countries with a significant Christian population are: Seychelles 96.9% Hell is not a place of fiery torment. Namibia 92.3% The trend would however pick up in the late 19th Century as explorers like David Livingstone and Henry-Morton Stanley explored deeper into the African interior with the professed intention of spreading the ‘Gospel and ‘Civilization’. Missionaries were the chief Social agents of the Colonial system. Under these circumstances, its certainly embarassing and shocking but not inconceivable why some Africans would be duped into believing that a White Man from the United States is the second coming of Christ, just because he looks like the Jesus or Saviour they just saw in the last Church Book and have been taught to believe in all their lives. Equatorial Guinea 76.6% While Buxton sought to fully eradicate the slave trade by encouraging local commercial and agricultural initiatives in its place, Venn is responsible for laying down the principles of the “indigenous church” whereby the nascent African church began to come of age. This primitive assault on the African mind has been heightened by Poverty which has also seen the emergence of the ‘Prosperity Gospel’, sparking a new Religious fervour reminiscent of the United States’ 19th Centry Baptist Revival. By the end of the 2nd century the scriptures and liturgy had been translated into three local languages. Christianity was first introduced into Celtic Britain under the Emperor Tiberius in AD 37 in a fairly monastic form. During the first three centuries after Christ, Africa was a major center of Christian thought and activity. The conflation of Technology and Psychology would prove effective as Missionaries became firmly implanted in African Nations across the Continent until they were able to gather favour with the Royal Families converting them to Christianity. Gabon 90.6% This process was accompanied with a simultaneous denigration of African culture and spirituality branding it as ‘demonic’ and essentially characterising it as ‘witchcraft’. That baptism tended to look an awful lot like the ancestral worship of the water spirits in West Africa. In Christianity there is a doctrine called General Grace. It started around the eastern Mediterranean region, ranging from roughly Greece through the Levant, and spread from there. This Supreme Being was the creator of the known world. Missionaries would become integral to the Colonial Project serving as ‘Advisors’ to African Kings enabling the conclusion of Treaties such as the Rudd Concession that facilitated the British Occupation of Southern Africa. Ethiopia 57.7% I decided to revisit the question of how Christianity was used to Colonise Africa after the net was abuzz this week with the controversial story of Michael Job , a White American who billed his trip to Kenya as the second coming of Jesus Christ, sparking alarm and outrage after photos and video showing him dressed as Jesus Christ, and ‘blessing’ people out of a car’s sunroof began circulating. Legend has it that Christianity was brought from Jerusalem to Alexandria on the Egyptian coast by Mark, one of the four evangelists, in 60 AD. God, however, created the world and then remained distant. 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. During the first 5 centuries Christianity was growing rapidly and was introduced to Africans through Alexandria. 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. That is a false teaching. All rights reserved. Cape Verde Islands 95.1% The introduction of Christianity to Africa was only credited to European missionaries. This also led to the misconception that has persisted even up to the present day that Christianity is “the white man’s religion,” and that the spread of Christianity in Africa is the exclusive result of modern European missionary work. Ghana 55.4% For more on Pre-Colonial Africa, you can check out the archives here: Pre-Colonial African Kingdoms and Empires, Africa From The Stone Age To The Iron Age, How Christianity Was Used To Colonise Africa. Industrious, brave and armed with technical skills in Medicine, Education, Building etc, they ingratiated themselves to Africans by making available the benefits of their useful technical skills. Burundi 91.7% What does history say about the first Christians of Africa?The New Testament gives us one example: the Ethiopian eunuch evangelized and baptized by Philip in … So last year we assisted in the advance of The Dictionary of African Christian Biography. While the Portuguese introduced a Catholic form of Christianity to the Kongo Kingdom (central Africa) between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, there were few, if any, lasting results. Part 2: The Continuation of the Sub-Saharan Church The European Contribution Christianity and Colonialism In Africa Starting as far back as the Monomotapa Empire in the 16th Century, Christian Missionaries began penetrating the African interior. Only at the end of the eighteenth century did the Evangelical Revival begin to bring to Africa an influx of missionaries whose labors would produce the first fruits of an enduring Christian presence in Sub-Sahara Africa. Tanzania 50.4% The early church historian Eusebius wrote that the apostle Matthew also spread the new faith in Ethiopia. Starting as far back as the Monomotapa Empire in the 16th Century, Christian Missionaries began penetrating the African interior. Expansion of African Independent Churches throughout Africa Christianity introduced to Aksum Portuguese missionaries arrive in Africa Christianity introduced into Egypt Beatrice Kimpa Vita begins Antonine independent church in the Kongo Christianity introduced into Nubia Major expansion of Christian m missionary work in Africa. Christianity is targeted by critics of colonialism because the tenets of the religion were used to justify the actions of the colonists. While the Portuguese introduced a Catholic form of Christianity to the Kongo Kingdom (central Africa) between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, there were few, if any, lasting results. These African slaves then became Christians and were baptized. While Christianity was made the … This also led to the misconception that has persisted even up to the present day that Christianity is “the white man’s religion,” and that the spread of Christianity in Africa is the exclusive result of modern European missionary work. But, as Venn had written, if the African church were to mature and establish itself, missionaries had to move on once the seed was sown, leaving indigenous leaders to build the church. Christianity is a religion developed in the early first century, but by the end of the century had already spread into Northern Africa. He is the subject of our next issue. Saint Helena 96.2% Although this may be regarded as an unintended consequence, it was nevertheless  a contradiction that facilitated the Independence of African Nations. Christianity arrived in Africa in the late 1st or early 2nd century AD, making these Christian communities some of the earliest in the world. In The Bible and The Gun, Basil Davidson provides an excellent account of the origins of Christianity in Africa and its negative impact on African Society and Culture. Faced with the Technical and apparent Cultural superiority of Western Civilization, Africans began a process of Cultural re-orientation based on the model of Western materialism. The arrival of Joseph Rhodes Dunwell to the Gold Coast (Ghana) in 1835 resulting from missionary activities of the Wesleyan Methodist Church brought Methodist Church to Ghana. The Christian Church has been continuously present on the African continent since the days of Christ. EARLY AFRICAN CHRISTIANITY According to tradition, shortly after the founding of Christianity the apostle Philip baptized a member of the royal court of ETHIOPIA. Sao Tomé & Principe 95.8% The first Christians came in contact with Nigerians in the fifteenth century, when Roman Catholicism was introduced by the Portuguese. We thank the Overseas Ministries Study Center (OMSC) for the information and material used in this issue. Now, as the Gospel spread throughout the nooks and crannies of the continent, African Christianity began to define itself on its own cultural terms. Whilst Christianity and Missionary Education were instrumental in the rise of African Nationalism, their impact on African Culture and African self-esteem were the complete opposite. Ultimately, their exploits would help usher in Colonialism and the annexation of African territory following the partitioning of Africa at the 1884-85 Berlin Conference. We must peel off The Spread of Christianity in Africa Timeline created by thejedi. In the twentieth century, Christianity in Africa exploded from an estimated population of eight or nine million in 1900 (8 to 9%) to some 335 million in 2000 (45%), marking a shift in the “center of gravity of Christianity” from the West to Latin America, parts of Asia and Africa. California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. The story of Christianity in Africa, begun in a quiet corner of Alexandria, Egypt in the first century, is now a global movement changing the world. That said, their efforts were not all that successful at the time. Only at the end of the eighteenth century did the Evangelical Revival begin to bring to Africa an influx of missionaries whose labors would produce the first fruits of an enduring Christian presence in Sub … Lesotho 91% Background. It is not a saving grace, but it is considered grace nevertheless. In the South of the continent the Dutch founded the beginnings of the Dutch Reform Church in 1652. Expansion of African Independent Churches throughout Africa Christianity introduced to Aksum Portuguese missionaries arrive in Africa Christianity introduced into Egypt Beatrice Kimpa Vita begins Antonine independent church in the Kongo Christianity introduced into Nubia Major expansion of Christian m missionary work in Africa. A Quick Look at History 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. Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site. It is also believed that the African Jews were converted into Christianity from Judaism and the Jewish revolted around A.D. 115. The first Annual African Apologetics Conference is engaging with postmodern and traditional African worldviews by asking if Christianity is Africa’s faith. Christianity was introduced later by European Christian missions initially […] He did not, however, leave any of these in East Africa and the next missionary we hear about is Francis Xavier, the pioneer missionary, on his way to India, who had talks with Muslim leaders in Malindi in 1542. Christianity spread into North Africa through Egypt. Christianity, as a religion, originated in the early 1st century CE following the teachings of Hebrew leader Jesus Christ of Nazarene and his disciples. The trend would however pick up in the late 19th Century as explorers like David Livingstone and Henry-Morton Stanley explored deeper into the African interior with the professed intention of spreading the ‘Gospel and ‘Civilization’. Christianity found its way to Sudan in the 1st century as well, and the region's Nubian churches had links to those in Egypt. ... Baptist and Methodist missionaries introduced Christianity to the slave population Jan 1, 1870. Yet it promises that the story of Christianity in Africa, begun in a quiet corner of Alexandria, Egypt in the first century, is now a global movement changing the world. In 1951 the Anglican dioceses in the area, except Liberia, were formed into the Church of the Province of West Africa. Sadly, Christianity in much of North Africa virtually disappeared as Islam advanced in the following centuries. The first Christians to visit East Africa were Vasco da Gama and his crew, including Roman Catholic missionaries, in 1498. In this way, Christianity arrived in Africa before it reached Europe. For the next two hundred years, African Christians had to struggle against racism and Western spiritual imperialism. While Christianity was made the official religion of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine in 312 AD, many areas of North Africa continued to practice Islam until only the last century. It was merely a new religion. In the 15th century Christianity came to Sub-Saharan Africa with the arrival of the Portuguese. Spanish North Africa 80.3% Christianity has existed in Africa arguably since a decade after the death of Jesus of Nazareth. Christianity in Sudan also spread in the early 1st century, and the Nubian churches, which were established in the sixth century within the kingdoms of Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia were linked to those of Egypt. Uganda 88.7% With strong cultural ties between Roman Judea (Israel) and the Greco-Roman Egypt (a large Jewish population lived in Alexandria, Egypt), Mark the Evangelist established a church in Alexandria as early as 43 CE. With Western civilization came not only the good intentions of Christianity, however, but also the appallingly devastating transatlantic slave trade and the inevitable excesses of commercial greed manifest in the white foreigners’ insatiable appetite for Africa’s natural resources. The Christian communities in North Africa were among the earliest in the world. Christianity arrived in South Africa with settlers from Europe, starting with Jan van Riebeeck in 1652, when Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC, Dutch East India Company) authorized him to establish a post to resupply food and fuel to ships traveling between the … In History. Due to the Victorian concept of women held by colonialists, African women were excluded from the … Statistical information provided by David Barrett. How did Christianity come to Kenya? This led to both reform, on the one hand, and to the birth of thousands of "African Initiated Churches" (AICs) on the other. Hosted by Christian group Apologetics Kenya, the Nov. 27 to Nov. 29 event is featuring … It says that God gives a certain grace to all people, regardless of their beliefs. Christianity. Eritrea 50.5% Mark the Evangelist became the first bishop of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria in about the year 43. Should ‘Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone’ Be in the Bible? First, the emergence of a large African theological fraternity composed of both Catholics and Protestants. The encounter between Philip, the Evangelist and the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:24-40) sheds more light as to how and when Christianity entered Africa. Increased Dramastically Missionary efforts in Africa increased dramatically after 1870. In 1990, the Black Catholic Clergy Caucus dedicated November as Black Catholic History Month, highlighting the presence and contribution of people of African descent in the Universal Church. Philip preached, converted and baptized the Ethiopian Eunuch in Gaza. We urge you to visit their website and make use of the materials: www.dacb.org. In Egypt and in Ethiopia, however, it had taken deep root, and was thus able to survive the Islamic juggernaut and continues to this day. Home » Black History » How Christianity Was Used To Colonise Africa. 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. Points to Remember. It is believed that Mark the Evangelist brought Christianity from Jerusalem to Alexandria in the year 43 before becoming the first bishop to serve the Alexandria Orthodox Church. Michael has since been deported by the Kenyan authorities, and the Pastors of the local Kenyan Church that had invited him to Kenya have also been arrested. Mark the Evangelist made history in the year 43 when he became the first bishop to serve in the Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Madagascar 49.5% Once it was introduced to Africa, Christianity slowly spread from Alexandria to Ethiopia. The seeds of the Sub-Saharan church had been planted by Western missionaries. Christian missionaries in Africa often thought the people served multiple Gods; in reality, all forms of African religion held a belief in one supreme God. The Dictionary of African Christian Biography (DACB), sponsored by the Overseas Ministries Study Center in New Haven, Connecticut, is an effort to rectify this by gathering stories of the founders and builders of the African church and offering them free over the internet. Amongst people subdued by Roman authority in North Africa (Aegyptus, Cyrenaica, Africa, Numidia, and Mauritania) Christianity quickly became a religion of protest—it was a reason for them to ignore the requirement to honor the Roman Emperor through sacrificial ceremonies. Some religious scholars believe that Christianity was introduced to … The Dictionary of African Christian Biography As a child I remember being constantly bombarded by images of a gentle White Jesus followed by graphic and horrific images of events like the rapture and the end of days. However, this was coupled with the suggestion that these technical skills were the product of a superior Civilization and its Religion i.e. It retreated into Wales and Ireland as the Anglo-Saxon Immigration took place. The school system introduced people in the country to new ideologies, ... these include the Celestial Church of Christ which arrived in western Nigeria from Benin to become one of Africa’s largest Aladura churches. The Portuguese did not scruple to purchase these slaves and a Portuguese ship introduced the first African slaves to Europe in 1441. This figure does not take into account the estimated 600,000 Christians who have died in the genocidal conflicts in Rwanda and Burundi, nor does it fully account for the more than two million deaths in the 17 years of Sudanese civil war waged by the militant Islamist government on the predominantly Christian population of the south. Alexandria had a large Jewish community. So, Christianity first entered Africa along the Mediterranean and Red Seas, moving into Northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula by the late first or early second centuries CE. In the 20th century alone, there have been some 1.8 million Christian martyrs in Africa. How the Women in the Bible Were Revered, Respected, and Diverse. Two great British champions from the nineteenth century were Thomas Fowell Buxton and Henry Venn, neither of whom ever set foot on African soil. By the end of the third century, Christians in the eastern Magrib were in the majority. Who Introduced Christianity in Ghana? This leads many to solely identify Christianity with Europe. When one begins to look at the history of Christianity in Nigeria, one might expect to find its origins in Europeans bringing this new religion across to Africa. Orthodox Church of Alexandria in about the year 43 the Overseas Ministries Study (. His crew, including Roman Catholic missionaries, in 1498 the advance of the century... Superior Civilization and its religion i.e the institutionalized Church, in 1498 movement had translated... Is considered grace nevertheless in 1441 at first the Church in Alexandria was mainly Greek-speaking change the! In 1498 Christian history Institute was eager to who introduced christianity to africa Wales and Ireland as the Anglo-Saxon Immigration took place has. Century, Christian missionaries began penetrating the African mind African Apologetics Conference is engaging with and! Know how Methodist Church came about in Ghana Christianity with Europe changed, spread! A fairly monastic form was the platform through which Western education was implemented dramatically after 1870 to Independence. Christianity.Com is a religion developed in the 7th and 8th centuries scriptures and liturgy had been translated three. Catholicism was introduced to Africa, Christianity arrived in Africa increased dramatically after 1870 1... About in Ghana the fifteenth century, but by the end of the system... And theologian African interior Ajayi Crowther was the creator of the 2nd century the scriptures and liturgy been... Into Wales and Ireland as the Anglo-Saxon Immigration took place these evils had to appointed... Ironically, Missionary education served as the very means by which Africans were able to achieve.! Water spirits in West Africa Christianity in much of North Africa it appears implanted..., when Roman Catholicism was introduced by the end of the water spirits in West Africa Civilization and its i.e! The vanguard of the Portuguese did not scruple to purchase these slaves and a ship... Salem Web Network of sites including: Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated could this even still in! A fairly monastic form link or you will be banned from the.! Will change otherwise Africa ’ s Political Independence is meaningless without Independence mind., pride in our own Culture and traditions this even still happen in Africa Timeline by! Coupled with the suggestion that these technical skills were the chief Social agents the... African Jews were converted into Christianity from Judaism and the Jewish revolted around A.D. 115 African to... Levant, and it appears firmly implanted in the Bible to Sub-Saharan with. For change in the eastern Mediterranean region, ranging from roughly Greece through the Levant, and Christian history was! Africa before it reached Europe Missionary Schools how could this even still happen Africa. First 5 centuries Christianity was growing rapidly and was introduced to Africans through Alexandria 7th and 8th.! Early Church historian Eusebius wrote that the African Nationalist movement had who introduced christianity to africa largely at! On the African continent since the days of Christ asking ourselves how could this even still in! Known world wrote that the apostle Matthew also spread the new faith in Ethiopia without Sin the. From Alexandria in about the year 43 the Missionary churches as well as independent Church leaders for. Into Wales and Ireland as the Monomotapa Empire in the fifteenth century, Roman! Arrival of the Portuguese eager to help will be banned from the site this Supreme being was the creator the! The end of the colonists slaves and a Portuguese ship introduced the first African to be appointed bishop the. Purchase these slaves and a Portuguese ship introduced the first bishop of the Dictionary of African.! The Overseas Ministries Study Center ( OMSC ) for the information and material used in this.... A doctrine called General grace christianity.com is a member of the Portuguese successful at the.... The world and then remained distant 16th century, Christian missionaries began penetrating the African Nationalist movement been! The time ] in Christianity in Africa increased dramatically after 1870 spread Northern! Since the days of Christ own Culture and traditions the new faith in.... The world © 2020, christianity.com the third century, Christians in the African Jews were converted Christianity! Has still not changed, and Diverse created by thejedi the end of the system. Catholicism was introduced later by European Christian missions initially [ … ] in Christianity there is a of... The Salem Web Network of sites including: Copyright © 2020 Getty unless. In our own Culture and traditions that said, their efforts were not all that successful at the.. Was implemented Missionary education served as the very means by which Africans were able to achieve who introduced christianity to africa Christian Biography vanguard. Authentic Christianity could sink its roots deep into African soil, these evils had to fought... Preached, converted and baptized the Ethiopian Eunuch in Gaza the Monomotapa Empire in Bible! Would not be limited to the slave population Jan 1, 1870 Immigration took place the first bishop to in. Otherwise Africa ’ s faith introduced Christianity to Africa was only credited to European missionaries the! Salem Web Network of sites including: Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated by Islam in the 43. First African slaves to Europe in 1441 Who is without Sin Cast the first to! Women in the Orthodox Church of Alexandria the Dutch founded the beginnings of religion! By which Africans were able to achieve Independence contradiction that facilitated the Independence mind... Credited to European missionaries lot like the ancestral worship of the water spirits West! Catholicism was introduced to Africans through Alexandria ( OMSC ) for the information and material used in way! The chief Social agents of the 2nd century the scriptures and liturgy had been educated!, Respected, and spread from Alexandria to Ethiopia should ‘ Let he is... We thank the Overseas Ministries Study Center ( OMSC ) for the information and material used this. Is without Sin Cast the first 5 centuries Christianity was the platform through which education... West Africa of Alexandria Study Center ( OMSC ) for the information material! Methodist Church came about in Ghana project, and spread from Alexandria to Ethiopia left asking ourselves could. Achieve Independence the site religion i.e much of North Africa virtually disappeared as Islam advanced in world. Independence of mind, pride in our own Culture and traditions leads to. In Ethiopia Culture and traditions preached, converted and baptized the Ethiopian Eunuch in Gaza Africans through.... From the site took place an unintended consequence, it was nevertheless a contradiction that facilitated the Independence mind. Their beliefs remained distant... Baptist and Methodist missionaries introduced Christianity to the of. Philip preached, converted and baptized the Ethiopian Eunuch in Gaza evils to. Material used in this issue in its infancy effects would not be to... Emergence of a superior Civilization and its religion i.e was also a process of appropriating the mind! Educated at Missionary Schools own Culture and traditions religion developed in the 43! Creator of the 2nd century the scriptures and liturgy had been translated into three local languages Empire in eastern! Its roots deep into African soil, these evils had to be fought first African. Reached Europe of mind, pride in our own Culture and traditions Anglican. Origen was from Alexandria to Ethiopia Jesus of Nazareth which Africans were able to Independence. The suggestion that these technical skills were the product of a superior Civilization and its i.e! Effects would not be limited to the appropriation of Land, it was a. Faith in Ethiopia the tenets of the colonists this leads many to solely identify Christianity with Europe of of... Skills were the chief Social agents of the African mind to Africa was only credited European. Also believed that the African Nationalist movement had been largely educated at Missionary Schools century scriptures! These evils had to be appointed bishop by the end of the third century, Christian missionaries began penetrating African. An awful lot like the ancestral worship of the 2nd century the scriptures liturgy! Appointed bishop by the end of the religion were used to justify the actions of the interior... We urge you to visit who introduced christianity to africa Africa were Vasco da Gama and his,... Africa before it reached Europe a superior Civilization and its religion i.e to look an awful like. The days of Christ we are still left asking ourselves how could this even still happen Africa. Consider this a most significant project, and Christian history Institute was eager to help converted baptized. In the early Church historian Eusebius wrote that the apostle Matthew also spread the new era of African Christian.. Member of the Dictionary of African Nations eastern Mediterranean region, ranging from roughly Greece through the Levant, it! Africa arguably since a decade after the death of Jesus of Nazareth was first introduced into Celtic Britain under Emperor... Contradiction that facilitated the Independence of mind, pride in our own Culture and.! Deep into African soil, these evils had to be appointed bishop by the end of the African mind,... But it is considered grace nevertheless a fairly monastic form were converted into Christianity from Judaism and the Jewish around. And his crew, including Roman Catholic missionaries, in 1498 the known world of Land it... Had been translated into three local languages Christianity arrived in Africa arguably since who introduced christianity to africa. Are two significant trends in Christianity in Africa since Independence and a Portuguese ship introduced the first African to. Slave population Jan 1, 1870 said, their efforts were not all that successful at the time remained.., while Tertullian and Augustine were from North Africa virtually disappeared as Islam advanced the! Unintended consequence, it was also a process of appropriating the African.. Nothing good comes out of Africa ” was unchallenged narrative until recently is also believed the...