Bacon stated that there were four main duties that the slaves must adhere to: 1) Duty and Behavior toward God. Traditional, animist religion saw humans as being subject to the whims of local gods. Communities were more capable of rebellion than a single individual. 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. Not the one modern day christians will lead you to believe who looks blonde hair and blue eyes. (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. With Africa subjugated and dominated, the Western culture and European mode of civilisation began to thrive and outgrow African cultural heritage. The traditional religions and worldviews do not have creeds, they do not have to be learnt, but caught, passed on and lived. “Turner’s rebelliousness was nurtured by his sense of divine calling.” (Williams 323). TRADITIONAL RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, PRACTICES AND IMPACTS OF CHRISTIANITY AMONG THE NYISHISI. Slaves who were more docile and gullible would not be able free themselves from slavery; thus, it was a bad thing for them. It brought the people together again, allowing them to fight for true justice. 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. 2) Duty and behavior toward the slave masters and mistresses. Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2002. 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. 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. 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.. Surprisingly, according to history texts, the African American slaves resisted very little to conversion to Christianity. 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. At some times travelling to Africa is necessary to gain insight. Therefore, the Christian ideals that were overheard were open to interpretation. precipitous decline of traditional cultural pursuits in the colonies. Many Slave-Masters denied their evangelization, for fear of an uprising or emancipation. 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! 1. 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. Christianity was undoubtedly the religion created by those who conquered african nations. No longer was reference made to African culture, it became barbarism. between African traditional religion and the Christian faith. Traditional African cultural practices paved the way for foreign way of doing things as Africans became fully ‘westernised’. 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. This bitter conflict has led to wanton destruction of Christianity captured their hearts and literally saved their souls. 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. #285, 10 pages. Oxford University Press, 1998. This was evident in the 1831 slave rebellion lead by Nat Turner. The African Americans were able to take what they heard and converse about the good things about Christianity had to offer them. Bacon gave three reasons why slavery was just: 1) God made men and [the slaves], and he made them to serve him. 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. Asalways, I appreciate the comments and alternative perspective. 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. Christianity was something that the white men did. Look forward to reading more of your hubs. 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. As in most of sub-Saharan Africa, ATR is the indigenous religion … 3) Duty and behavior toward fellow servants. Your efforts are noteworthy but limited in perspective as it relates to the African slave religion. Many Christians hold that Christianity was brought to Egypt by the Apostle Saint Mark in the early part of the first century AD. Slaves had to be faithful and honest to their masters. “The Invisible Institution.” Slave Religion. It was a tool that they used to justify slavery. wˆéÄXw—ûëŽÈŽKæÖ»d*k¥kƒ¨ÿ The African Americans were forced to leave behind their traditions, religions, and culture. Many were told that it was their duty to be a slave and that if they complied, they would be granted the rite of passage into heaven. 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. These statements await further exploration by African theologians. In this aspect, Christianity was a very good thing for the slaves to have come across. 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 helped control the slaves, but eventually aided in the end of slavery. 23-28, 216-219, 322-328. His goal was to instigate behavioral changes in the slaves and suppress future rebellions. 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. For them to lose their identity and their ancient history which much of the world's religions stem from has caused so much confusion within African American history. The term “Primal” is used to refer to religions which were there prior to the so-called “universal” religions such as Christianity, Islam, etc. Which means that the slaves were supposed to look to God as the master of masters. 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 (Bacon 209-210). People saw that converting slaves to Christianity was a way to control them; but for the slaves, what began negatively would eventually come to benefit them. 207-214, Raboteau, Albert. 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. 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. Evidence for this age comes in the form of the oldest Biblical papyri discovered in remote regions of Upper Egypt. (Turner 1994a:129). The beliefs and practices of the traditional religions in Africa can enrich Christian theology and spirituality." It definitely provokes thought. 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. African religious traditions were considered ‘primitive’ or even ‘uncivilized’ by the slave masters. The Effects of Witchcraft and Sorcery Nearly all over Africa, death from natural cause does not exist. 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. As black Christian communities grew in size and strength, rebellions became more common. And finally: 4) Duty and behavior to themselves. Williams, Peter. African traditional religions have been washed away, and especially with Christianity, they are viewed as pagan and heathen in nature. 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. For many, Christianity is an answer for all their queries. African Religion and its Influence on Christianity and Islam Traditional African religion has been the basis of spirituality for the people of Africa. Your article fails to recognize that Christianity was NEVER the white man's religion. 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. Slaves were often punished for speaking their native languages or taking part in African traditional rituals. Most African Americans at the time did not have the ability to read; in fact, it was illegal to teach a slave to read. ˜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£¨ On the other hand, Christianity held a dream of freedom and hope for the slaves, which was a very positive thing. They developed their own churches, unsupervised by the white, and were able organize, plan, and establish slave escape routes and collective revolutions. Eds. After the civil war, slavery was abolished, but there was still oppression and segregation of blacks. Since it is a religion practised by living persons today, changes are to be expected. Sometimes white men feared their traditions because they did not understand them; they would rather the slaves have no culture at all. Thus, strictly speaking, religion in its pristine form is no longer in existence. 2) You [slaves] have souls that need to be saved. There are thousands of religions and denominations in this world. Their conversion and adaptation to Christianity held many positive and negative effects for the African Americans. Marvin Parke from Jamaica on March 08, 2012: To get information about African culture requires intensive research, this information is not taught in school. Great hub. The White Slave owner gave a "basterized" version of the scriptures and called it truth. ‘Christianity and the African traditional religion(s): The postcolonial round of engagement’, Verbum et Ecclesia 32(1), Art. You've made some valid points that clearly offer some support for a differing viewpoint than what I've presented here. While Christianity brought many slaves together by creating communities, it held a completely different meaning for other Africans in slave-America. Moreover, a slave at this time needed to have his master’s permission to be baptized. 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. Every aspect of it cannot be described as original. 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, 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. 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. 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. I believe that with the advent of Christianity in parts of Africa, there has been a huge change is the amount of superstition. The early European missionaries brought Christianity to Africa and the religion was embraced by Africans. With his sermon, he sought to Christianize, justify, and mesmerize the slaves. Separated from everyone and everything they ever knew, and in the face of fear and adversity, they found Christianity. Che Rogers from Los Angeles, CA on August 23, 2014: I appreciate you taking the time to write a hub like this. “African Traditional Religion” (ATR) is the term used for the indigenous religious traditions of Africa. 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 traditional religion or voodoo has helped us a lot especially in shaping our moral standards and giving us a sense of identity. Just as the slave-traders captured Africans and brought them to the Americas, Bacon’s Sermons captured and converted many slaves to Christianity. Christopher Wanamaker (author) from Arizona on August 23, 2014: Thank you reading my article. Ethiopia and egypt are the two most talked about countries in the bible. I will be posting my own articles on how Africa shaped Christianity. In Africa the traditional religions are a major source for the study of the African experience of God. 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. Africa's influential university departments of religion have usually approached the theme in terms of establishing correlations between Christianity and Africa's traditional religions. Marvin Parke from Jamaica on March 09, 2012: Jamaicans do not practice voodoo, that is what is shown on TV. Once Christianity got a good grip on the black community, they began forming their own church-like safe houses. Missiologists have worked more broadly on a correlation of Christianity with African culture as a whole, speaking in terms of an ethnotheology. Pg. The adaptation of Christianity to the African American people made for an almost completely different religion. The African Americans were forcibly and involuntarily brought to America to work as slaves under a new authority. Hence, it cannot be avoided in the interaction between Christianity and African Traditional Religion. African Traditional Religion has been evolving; there is in it the element of continuity as well as discontinuity. Pg. America’s Religions. between Christianity and African Traditional Religion. Families were split apart and children were sold. People saw phenomena such as weather, disease and … It enabled the slaves to have fun, discuss and pass on escape route information, and just to ‘get away’ from life’s hardships. “Their knowledge of the Bible and Christian tradition was acquired entirely from hearing it preached.” (Williams 217). Christianity first acted as a slight justification of slavery but then became a stepping-stone toward African American emancipation from it. 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. Slaves were not to be secretive about anything and were supposed remember that God is always watching. Bacon, Thomas, “Christianity Shapes American Slavery.” Religion in American history: A Reader. 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. 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. When the European settlers discovered the communities in Africa, they saw opportunities for advancement of their society. Adherents of traditional religions in sub-Saharan Africa are distributed among 43 countries and are estimated to number over 100 million.. Abstract: The inception, evangelization and missionary activities of Christianity and Islam in 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. 215-256. It seems Christianity has done the most in affecting the conscience of the black person in Africa. Saint Mark's first convert in Alexandria was Anianus, a shoemaker who later was consecrated a bishop and became Patriarch of Alexandria after Saint Mark's martyrdom. Spiritual conflicts exist between African Traditional Religion and Christianity. Since Christianity came in contact with the traditional religion, there has always been a sharp conflict between traditionalists and Christians. Roman Changed the names and concepts around from african teachings and called it christianity. John Butler and Harry S. Stout. In 1749, Thomas Bacon gave a sermon specifically to the black slaves of America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. ¬p±Š!Va‰†µÙ…þÄÀ8?„‡„’ò)Ï>€Üò—$J«QÓ¹ÉˤaËۑPVë¤ÃœOJˤE/à¸5;D?Ϩåáó~C| ٔ”, Microsoft Word - DLitt et Phil Thesis.doc. Bacon’s sermon tried to modify the behavior of the slaves for the betterment of white society. presuppositions about life in a Traditional/Primal society. 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. 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. 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. Since the introduction of slavery in the Americas in the early 1600’s, Christianity has had a powerful effect on the African American culture. The first is that the context of this article is sub-Sahara Africa. Yet, African Americans resisted very little to conversion; it was only a matter of time before the slaves began to assume Christian identities. The whites’ Christianity said that slavery was just and that it was the slaves’ duty to be a slave. 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. 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. It wasn’t until the Great Awakening of the 1740’s that we saw appreciable mass conversion of black American’s. Christianity was in North Africa with its Kingdoms long before the White man ever arrived and long before the slave trade. This is a pervasive religious worldview with a dominant and powerful influence on man in traditional Africa. 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. 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. There are multiple aspects of answering this question. 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. He used his interpretation of Christian beliefs to justify slavery. 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. Moses was born in egypt (africa). As it can be seen though, Christianity had more of an overall positive effect on the lives of African Americans than it did negative. This testifies to the enduring power of indigenous religion and its ability to domesticate Christianity and Islam in modern Africa. The African American slaves adapted the Christian religion to fit their needs; they blended old cultural elements with new Christian ideals. The white men separated African Americans who spoke the same language or who were related. New York. From my experience there is a lot of voodoo in it, therefore it is not real Christianity. Christianity has to address this traditional religious holism/organism and its pantheistic tendencies. As things progressed, we eventually saw a distinct division between the Christianity of the whites, and the Christianity of the blacks. 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. There are other spiritual movements though. Even though there was little resistance to conversion, most priests and missionaries spent their time converting whites. Christianity points fingers to the beliefs of the Igbo culture. (Bacon 211 - 214). 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. Since 2013, traditional African religions are declared as the majority religion only in Togo. I checked out your profile so I can see that this subject is of utmost concern to you. 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