History of christianity in africa

The Christian communities in North Africa were among the earliest in the world. 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. This was around the same time or possibly before Christianity spread to Northern Europe. Through North Africa, Christianity was embraced as the religion of dissent against the expanding Roman Empire.

History of christianity in africa

Print this page European colonisation Until the 19th century, Britain and the other European powers confined their imperial ambitions in Africa to the odd coastal outpost from which they could exert their economic and military influence. British activity on the West African coast was centred around the lucrative slave trade.

European ships took more than 11 million people into slavery from the West African coast. Between andwhen the slave trade was abolished, British ships carried up to three million people into slavery in the Americas. In total, European ships took more than 11 million people into slavery from the West African coast, and European traders grew rich on the profits while the population of Africa's west coast was devastated.

And yet byEuropean nations had added almost 10 million square miles of Africa - one-fifth of the land mass of the globe - to their overseas colonial possessions. One of the chief justifications for this so-called 'scramble for Africa' was a desire to stamp out slavery once and for all.

Shortly before his death in May at Ilala in central Africa, the celebrated missionary-explorer David Livingstone had called for a worldwide crusade to defeat the slave trade controlled by Arabs in East Africa, that was History of christianity in africa waste the heart of the continent.

The only way to liberate Africa, believed Livingstone, was to introduce the 'three Cs': The theory that all the peoples of Europe belonged to one white race which originated in the Caucasus hence the term 'Caucasian' was first postulated at the turn of the 19th century by a German professor of ethnology called Johann Blumenbach.

Blumenbach's colour-coded classification of races - white, brown, yellow, black and red - was later refined by a French ethnologist, Joseph-Arthur Gobineau, to include a complete racial hierarchy with white-skinned people of European origin at the top.

Britons like Livingstone felt they had a duty to 'civilise' Africa.

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Such pseudo-scientific theories were widely accepted at the time and motivated Britons like Livingstone to feel they had a duty to 'civilise' Africa. The Berlin Conference ofconvened by Otto von Bismarck to discuss the future of Africa, had the stamping out slavery high on the agenda.

The Berlin Act ofsigned by the 13 European powers attending the conference, included a resolution to 'help in suppressing slavery'. In truth, the strategic and economic objectives of the colonial powers, such as protecting old markets and exploiting new ones, were far more important.

The Berlin Conference began the process of carving up Africa, paying no attention to local culture or ethnic groups, and leaving people from the same tribe on separate sides of European-imposed borders. Top British interests Britain was primarily concerned with maintaining its lines of communication with India, hence its interest in Egypt and South Africa.

But once these two areas were secure, imperialist adventurers like Cecil Rhodes encouraged the acquisition of further territory with the intention of establishing a Cape-to-Cairo railway.

Britain was also interested in the commercial potential of mineral-rich territories like the Transvaal, where gold was discovered in the mids, and in preventing other European powers, particularly Germany and France, from muscling into areas they considered within their 'sphere of influence'.

Tens of thousands of Herero men, women and children fell victim to von Trotha's infamous extermination order. Germany had only been unified in and so was a late starter in imperial terms. Its first acquisition in was German South-West Africa Namibiawhich at the time was peopled by two semi-nomadic tribes, the Herero of the arid central plateau and the Nama of the still more arid steppes to the south.

When the two tribes went to war over cattle grazing, German traders and missionaries persuaded their government to intervene and fill the political vacuum.

History of christianity in africa

A later Herero rebellion inprovoked by the brutality of the German settlers, was put down by General Lothar von Trotha with savage efficiency, and tens of thousands of Herero men, women and children fell victim to his infamous 'Vernichtungsbefehl' extermination order.

Top 'Spirit of Berlin' The philanthropic 'spirit of Berlin', however, was not entirely hollow. Once it became known that slavery was alive and well in the Congo, which was run as a personal fiefdom of Leopold, King of Belgium, an international anti-slavery conference was held in Brussels in By taking the women of Congolese villages hostage, Leopold had turned the men into forced labourers.

During a sermon at St Sulpice in Paris inLavigerie had shocked his audience by describing the horrors of the Congo slave trade: The upshot of the Brussels conference was that Leopold cynically agreed to stamp out Arab slavery in return for the right to tax imports.

Christianity in Africa - Wikipedia

He thereby overturned one of the key resolutions of the Act of Berlin, which had guaranteed free trade for the region. But while Leopold made all the right noises, his agents in the Congo used forced labour slaves in all but name to extract rubber, his single most profitable export.

By taking the women of Congolese villages hostage, Leopold had turned the men into forced labourers, with a monthly quota of wild rubber to collect from the rain forest.

The system was harsh. Many hostages starved to death and many male forced labourers were worked to death. More people were killed as rebellions were brutally crushed.

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Demographers today estimate that the population of the Congo fell roughly by half over the year period beginning in around The truth behind the Congo's rubber trade - 'legalised robbery enforced by violence' - was finally exposed by Edmond Morel, an Anglo-French ex-shipping clerk, who wrote a series of accusatory articles in 'The Speaker' in By arguing that Leopold's illegal state monopoly was robbing British merchants as well as African peasants, Morel was able to enlist the support of both businessmen and humanitarians.

A British consul, Roger Casement, was sent to investigate, and the publication of his damning report in was, for Leopold, the beginning of the end.

But even then, the forced labour system continued. It took a different form during World War One, when tens of thousands of Congolese were conscripted as porters for the Belgian army. The forced labour system significantly changed only in the early s, when Belgian colonial authorities realised the population was dropping so rapidly that they soon might have no labour force left.INDEX: Christianity first arrived in North Africa, in the 1st or early 2nd century AD.

The Christian communities in North Africa were among the earliest in the world. Feb 17,  · Slavery and the 'Scramble for Africa' By Dr Saul David Last updated The history of Africa begins with the emergence of hominids, archaic humans and – at least , years ago – anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens), in East Africa, and continues unbroken into the present as a patchwork of diverse and politically developing nation initiativeblog.com earliest known recorded history arose in the Kingdom of Kush, and later in Ancient Egypt, the Sahel, the.

Christianity in Africa began in Egypt in the middle of the 1st century. By the end of the 2nd century it had reached the region around initiativeblog.comant Africans who influenced the early development of Christianity include Tertullian, Perpetua, Felicity, Clement of Alexandria, Origen of Alexandria, Cyprian, Athanasius and Augustine of initiativeblog.com the 4th century the Aksumite empire was.

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Art in Africa The Arts of Africa Akan Adinkra Adire Asanti Baule Bedu Benin Gelede Ife Igbo Ndebele Nok Yoruba Zulu. Christianity Websites; Lesson Plans, Activities, and more; Christianity Web Sites. From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians (PBS) Part of PBS’s Frontline series, this site explores archeological clues to Jesus’ life, paints a portrait of his world, examines the gospels and first Christians, and discusses why Christianity succeeded.

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