In the fifteenth century, Christianity came to Africa’s coastlines … Africa, and specifically Nigeria is subject to many problems, including corruption, greed, continued sexual immorality and violence. Africa is now at risk of being in debt once again, particularly in Sub-Saharan African countries. 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. Ordinary Jews, not to talk of Rabbis, did not speak to Samaritans, and surely not to Samaritan women. 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. 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 last debt crisis in 2005 was resolved with help from the heavily indebted poor countries scheme (HIPC). Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Modern Europe still feeds itself from this religious source. 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. It is only the severest critic that can see a mission hospital or school or a village borehole and still claim that Africa would be better off without Christianity. Many Christians in Africa have drawn upon their faith to survive and thrive, and to help their fellow human beings in numerous ways. 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 missionary and the medical practitioner were therefore equally significant as far as the spread of Christianity was concerned. 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. In this respect at least, therefore, Christianity can be regarded as being in the forefront of social and political reform in the country. Their works are available in libraries and bookstores for anyone willing to examine them. This religion has had a profound effect on the social and political development of modern Africa. In this article, we describe the impact of Christianity in Nigeria. 1. Your email address will not be published. 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. Any student of the history of modern science cannot deny that scientific inquiry grew out of a religious tradition. 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 other words, the West has abandoned God but is still stealing from God. 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.) He is able to transform the human heart. The missionaries’ fight for justice helped to introduce certain humane considerations and actions into the activities carried out by the colonial authorities. In present day Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, the HIV epidemic is one of the most disruptive social problem in the continent. The arrival of Christian religion like the Moslem religion in Africa has a far-reaching effect on the society. 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. The Christian Gospel is not just about getting souls into heaven, but bettering conditions on planet earth as well. Our findings show that Christianity have been significant in all the three spheres of life. Regards! 40 harmful effects of Christianity. Lecky has commented on the Enlightenment that “The greatest religious change in the history of mankind” took place “under the eyes of a brilliant galaxy of philosophers and historians who disregarded as contemptible an Agency (Christianity) which all men must now admit to have been . 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. Africa is marked by a high degree of political and religious heterogeneity, making a study of politics and religion in the region complex but rewarding. May 7, 2014 JT Eberhard. 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. By Lydia O’Kane. In parts of Nigeria, mission work would not be complete without serious attention to health care. 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. Research Cyber Team hopes this article was helpful. Today, HIV infection and AIDS are particularly prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. What I will argue is that at least when it comes to Christianity, the cure for religiously induced evils is exactly the opposite of what Mr Okyere tried to suggest. There are 54 countries in Africa today, according to the United Nations. Today, membership in Christian churches is growing faster in Africa than anywhere else in the world. The coming of colonialism and its concomitant Christianity helps to abrogate ritual with human being or human sacrifice. 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 main analytical problem involving an understanding of the relation between religion and politics in Africa is the region's astonishing multifariousness of religious beliefs, ethnic divisions, cultural distinctions, and political modes. 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. In other words, Christian missionaries were aggressively vocal against the injustices meted out to, and oppression of, the native inhabitants. In this column, we will show that Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa had long-lasting consequences on development. 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. So rather than being static and un-progressive, biblical Christian teaching enables men to be curious and creative. Furthermore, church education opened people’s minds to democratic ideals. The role of traders who collaborated with western missionaries can therefore be neither ignored nor denied. 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. 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). However, the ugly side of Chrisitianity in Africa cannot be ignored. In order for Christianity to make significant progress in its evangelization activities, Nigerian people’s literacy and numeracy had to improve. 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. The African Human Rights Law Journal (AHRLJ) is a peer-reviewed journal on human rights related topics in Africa. Religion in Africa does not encourage creativity, invention or critical thinking, because of its conservative or static. 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. Required fields are marked *. More importantly, the church also provides people living with HIV with a community. Negative Effects of Religion 1. Some missionaries believed that the Lord had raised people up for the good of His church and for the good of the nation. . Innovation and scientific inventions are only possible when people are encouraged to think out of the box. 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. The new international boundaries were “drawn by Europeans, for Europeans,” and paid little a… 1 Comment on Positive and negative effects of colonialism Colonialism refers to the act of taking control over a country politically and exploiting in economically. Your email address will not be published. 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. 2. Does Christianity cause physical conflicts? The writer’s implicit argument for the negative character of Christianity is that religion by nature creates damning effects and Christianity, being a religion, therefore also by nature creates damning effects. In this article, we focused on the positive impacts of Christianity in Nigeria. 2 hours ago, You have enough reason to thank the Lord — Evangelist Atats... Also read: Positive and negative effects of globalization. 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.”. Wherever Christian missionaries and workers have gone, there has been tremendous work in social reform. Medical advances in the region have made this aspiration a reality. 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. To ascertain the nature of the contemporary relation between religion and politics in Africa, it is necessary to take int… The ones who have power are called colonists whereas the indigenous people make up the colonies. Religion is a major cause of physical conflicts and doctrinal disputes in Africa and the world as a whole. The corrupt dictators wasted the money borrowed, and then the rehabilitation of the devastated economy of Africa did not take effect, burying the social issues in education and health. 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. This reduced the number of people who would have been Muslims and African traditionalists. The HIPC resulted in some positive and negative effects on the economy in Africa. 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. Even the USA’s declaration of independence document which has shaped that nation was drafted by men largely influenced by a Judeo/Christian worldview. However, the more the Christian faith becomes a defining element in the believers and the more they practice it as a lifestyle with strong ties to its biblical origins and with intelligent commitment, the better off African societies will be. 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. EARLY AFRICAN CHRISTIANITY Perhaps, the motivation for the introduction of health care was primarily to create an environment that was conducive to the spread of the gospel. South Africa Correspondence to: David Adamo Email: adamodt@yahoo.com 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 Human Rights. It is rather interesting to note that London’s The Times newspaper, on December 27, 2008, published an incisive article by Matthew Parris, a British Political Writer and an atheist, titled “As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God,” in which the writer came to the opposite conclusion from that of Mr Okyere. Further truth always corresponds to reality. Lack of Progress: Overtly religious societies cannot progress as they do not allow free thinking. 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. 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. Does Christianity discourage Science and curiosity? Hence, they were totally against the horrors of slavery and every cruelty. For your custom-made paper, report, or article; kindly call 0703 022 8325. Christianity is targeted by critics of colonialism because the tenets of the religion were used to justify the actions of the colonists. I seek, in this article, to contest the claim that the Christian faith, as one of the major religions in Africa, predominantly fosters negative effects (like conflicts, laziness, fear, lack of curiosity/creativity and violence), and argue that Christianity has been a contributor to progress and development and also a force for more peaceful societies in Africa and the world. For 18 years he regularly introduced anti-slavery motions in Parliament. Two thousand years later, Christian presence has left indelible marks on the continent—some positive, some less so. A whole belief system must first be supplanted.”, R. G. ColemanE-mail: [email protected]Blog: www.rgcoleman.wordpress.com, The author has 14 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: RobertGColeman, Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Of course, the picture is not all rosy. 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". 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. effects of missionaries in East Africa They spread Christianity and baptized many converts. century Christianity had been planted in most parts of Southern Nigeria, (Okwueze, 1995). Christianity is far more than just pie in the sky in the sweet bye and bye. Medical services served as a necessary ingredient in bringing the people to medical treatment for their ailments and for relief of their physical suffering: whereas soul healing and salvation were left to the Priest who was endowed with powers of providing spiritual cleansing. 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. Such an argument clearly will be dead on arrival. Slavery: An Unlikely Catalyst. This requirement necessitated serious education initiatives on the part of Christian missionaries. 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. People (even non-religious ones) have different ways of understanding and interpreting things; some are reasonable, others are not. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article. Christianity has done much good in Africa. Christianity found its way to Sudan in the 1st century as well, and the region's Nubian churches had links to those in Egypt. Most Christians believe in one God in three Persons (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) and that Jesus is the Son of God who rose from the dead after being crucified; a Christian hopes to attain eternal life after death through faith in Jesus Christ…”. It is only possible when religion is not adopted as the way of life. Two thousand years of Christianity […] She M, Any New Revolution in Ghana Would Come from NPP, Not NDC, Reactions to Dr. Wereko Brobbey's "Ghana's Disputed 2020 Ele. Does Christianity lack Critical thinking? 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. 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. In order for Christianity to make significant progress in its evangelization activities, Nigerian people’s literacy and numeracy had to improve. 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). 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. W.E.H. Under the influence of Christianity, education, personal responsibility, personal morality and individual freedom are all improving. 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. This influence is undoubtedly the result of the phenomenal growth of Christianity experienced in sub-Saharan Africa. 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. 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. 8. The Nexus of Career Bureaucrats and Political Appointees, Haruna Iddrisu Is a Plagiarist Haunted by His Shady Past, How Selfishly John Dramani Mahama is Deliberately Playing Ghana into the Exploitation Agenda by the Western World, Endings for Beginnings: Reaching a Brexit Deal, The Inspiring Effects Of Christianity In Africa. Christians have built roads, orphanages, schools, hospitals, etc. 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. . Why Would A Loving God Send People To Hell? There are so many negative effects of religion which unfortunately our society don't pay much attention to, and these have a more debilitating effect on our forward match to being a more matured and developed place. My view, which is similar to the one expressed by Yale University Professor, Miroslav Volf, in his 2002 lecture on “Christianity and Violence,” delivered at the University of Pennsylvania, is this: the cure for religiously induced evils is never less religion, but rather more religion. Many governments in Africa use religion as a vehicle to incite disaffection among people in a bid to advance their political interests. If a preacher gives an interpretation of a certain passage, we can always check with the Bible and the context of the passage. Missionaries made a point of ensuring that hospitals and other health facilities were erected in their area of missionary activity. Even renowned atheists like Jurgen Habermas do recognize that Europe’s civilization (even though now considered post-Christian) is traceable to Christianity. The influence of Christianity on SocietiesHistorians concede that it was Christianity that civilized barbarian Europe. 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. 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. The more the Christian faith is reduced to shallow religiosity that is essentially targeted at motivating, empowering and giving meaning to the everyday life issues that are shaped by economic or national interests, the worse off African societies will be. 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. 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. 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. 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). The full list is shown in the table below, with current population and subregion (based on the United Nations official statistics). 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. Religion in Africa and the harmful effects R eligion is the most popular business in Africa today. All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. 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. Religion creates an avenue for many charlatans to parade as so-called men of God to fleece the poor of their meagre resources. Mark the Evangelist made history in the year 43 when he became the first bishop to serve in the Orthodox Church of Alexandria. 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. 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. 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. When Mr Okyere complaints that governments in Africa use religion as a vehicle to stir up trouble among people to advance their political and parochial interests it only says more about the kind of people we have in our governments than it does about the contents of the Christian religion. 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