…”. 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. 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. In this column, we will show that Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa had long-lasting consequences on development. Despite the pessimism that followed as a result of the threat of rapid Islam advances and harsh treatment meted out by the authorities, Christianity has indeed spread like wild fires in Nigeria and the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. Does Christianity cause physical conflicts? Thus I think the argument about Christianity being one of the religions making adherents lethargic should be shelved. 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. Also read: Positive and negative effects of globalization. Jesus even encouraged Martha to do likewise (Luke 10:38-42). 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. One of the primary effects of the spread of Islam into North Africa was the acceptance of the Arabic language. 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. Religion is one major cause of conflicts in Africa and the world as a whole. 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. Implication of Boko Haram Insurgence for Nigeria, Causes and Effects of Climate Change in Nigeria, Vocational and Technical Education in Nigeria, Causes and Effects of Insecurity in Northern Nigeria, Effect of Insecurity in Nigeria on Economic Development, A Major Cause of Insecurity in Nigeria: Corruption, Climate Change, Conflict, and Insecurity in Nigeria. 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. Slavery: An Unlikely Catalyst. 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. Conversion to Christ and the advancement of his kingdom necessitates transformation and this, in turn, is not only related to certain democratic values but, importantly, is based on true love for God and for one’s fellow human beings. Here are ten ways missions has impacted 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. There are 54 countries in Africa today, according to the United Nations. Negative Effects of Religion 1. 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. However, African Christianity ultimately developed its own special character in which local traditions played a role. 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. 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 the partition of Africa", in Journal of African Studies, 3, 2, 1976, 183-203, 184 & 186. Regards! In this respect at least, therefore, Christianity can be regarded as being in the forefront of social and political reform in the country. The phenomenal growth of Christianity in Africa Optimism about the success of the missionary endeavour emerged from the 1910 Edinburgh World Missionary 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. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Human Rights. EARLY AFRICAN CHRISTIANITY The coming of colonialism and its concomitant Christianity helps to abrogate ritual with human being or human sacrifice. The fact that evidence points in a certain direction do not guarantee that everyone will accept it. The Christian Gospel is not just about getting souls into heaven, but bettering conditions on planet earth as well. Religion creates an avenue for many charlatans to parade as so-called men of God to fleece the poor of their meagre resources. Your email address will not be published. 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. Wherever Christian missionaries and workers have gone, there has been tremendous work in social reform. Background. 2 hours ago, You have enough reason to thank the Lord — Evangelist Atats... Their works are available in libraries and bookstores for anyone willing to examine them. 2. In other words, Christian missionaries were aggressively vocal against the injustices meted out to, and oppression of, the native inhabitants. 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. Whether you are looking at Copernicus or Kepler or Galileo or Pascal or Newton you find men who believed in God and were curious to learn about this world. 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. All Rights Reserve, Positive Impacts of Christianity in Nigeria. All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. 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. He is able to transform the human heart. 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. 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. One major positive impact of globalization on Africa is that it has made available information on how other countries are governed and the freedom s and rights their people enjoy. Some missionaries believed that the Lord had raised people up for the good of His church and for the good of the nation. 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. In ancient cultures, a wife was the property of her husband. 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 In parts of Nigeria, mission work would not be complete without serious attention to health care. I will not argue that the Christian faith has not and does not continue to be used to promote undesirable effects like fear, violence, laziness and suchlike. 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. Rather, the cure lies in a stronger and more intelligent commitment to the Christian faith as faith. We see this in our national politics all the time. Missionaries made a point of ensuring that hospitals and other health facilities were erected in their area of missionary activity. The article showed how Christianity affected Nigeria, in terms of education, socio-political life, and in health. However, the ugly side of Chrisitianity in Africa cannot be ignored. By Lydia O’Kane. Does Christianity discriminate against women? 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. 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. Does Membership of NDC Bestow Bravery on People? Christianity is targeted by critics of colonialism because the tenets of the religion were used to justify the actions of the colonists. A lot of western charity funds are administered through Christian NGOs in Africa. 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. 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 Africans affected lost a large part of their sense of identity, self-respect, pride in their blackness etc. The gospel message brought about real transformation, which instilled divine principles and humaneness in the socio-political lives of Nigerian people. 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. The missionary and the medical practitioner were therefore equally significant as far as the spread of Christianity was concerned. In order for Christianity to make significant progress in its evangelization activities, Nigerian people’s literacy and numeracy had to improve. 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. 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. Christianity is far more than just pie in the sky in the sweet bye and bye. Your email address will not be published. The concept of universal human rights and equality comes exclusively from the biblical idea that all people are created in the image of God. Lack of Progress: Overtly religious societies cannot progress as they do not allow free thinking. 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. They stood tall.”. 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. ", I pray for an end to election votes buying – Apostle Onyinah 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. 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. 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. Even renowned atheists like Jurgen Habermas do recognize that Europe’s civilization (even though now considered post-Christian) is traceable to Christianity. 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. the influence of Christianity on Africans’ lives is extremely significant. The old adage stands true that a philosophy ought not to be judged based on its abuse. Christianity in Africa arrived in Egypt in the middle of the 1st century. The missionaries’ fight for justice helped to introduce certain humane considerations and actions into the activities carried out by the colonial authorities. Ordinary Jews, not to talk of Rabbis, did not speak to Samaritans, and surely not to Samaritan women. Why Would A Loving God Send People To Hell? If a preacher gives an interpretation of a certain passage, we can always check with the Bible and the context of the passage. Medical advances in the region have made this aspiration a reality. 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 new international boundaries were “drawn by Europeans, for Europeans,” and paid little a… It is not surprisingly, therefore, literacy rates till today remain higher in Christian dominated regions of Nigeria compared to Islam-dominated areas. In the fifteenth century, Christianity came to Africa’s coastlines … In order for Christianity to make significant progress in its evangelization activities, Nigerian people’s literacy and numeracy had to improve. Furthermore, church education opened people’s minds to democratic ideals. The ones who have power are called colonists whereas the indigenous people make up the colonies. Such an argument clearly will be dead on arrival. 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 HIPC resulted in some positive and negative effects on the economy in Africa. Research Cyber Team hopes this article was helpful. But truth by its nature is exclusive and does not include in itself contradictory claims. 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. Christianity definitely had an impact, both positive and negative, on the socio-political life of the people of Nigeria. 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. . This requirement necessitated serious education initiatives on the part of Christian missionaries. Two thousand years later, Christian presence has left indelible marks on the continent—some positive, some less so. Copyright © 2017 ResearchCyber.com. The tenets of Christianity are recorded in the book of books called the “Holy Bible.” It … Hence, they were totally against the horrors of slavery and every cruelty. It has no merit. W.E.H. We shall begin by examining the term ‘Christianity’ before discussing the impact of Christianity in Nigeria in terms of education, socio-politics, and health. 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. 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. Women. 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. 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. Innovation and scientific inventions are only possible when people are encouraged to think out of the box. Two thousand years of Christianity […] 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). For 18 years he regularly introduced anti-slavery motions in Parliament. 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. 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. 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 . In this article, we focused on the positive impacts of Christianity in Nigeria. . This reduced the number of people who would have been Muslims and African traditionalists. Matthew Parris, describing his observation of the Christians he found in Malawi and across the continent, wrote: “The Christians were always different. She M, Any New Revolution in Ghana Would Come from NPP, Not NDC, Reactions to Dr. Wereko Brobbey's "Ghana's Disputed 2020 Ele. Today, HIV infection and AIDS are particularly prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. 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. 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. The influence of Christianity on SocietiesHistorians concede that it was Christianity that civilized barbarian Europe. 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. 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. The arrival of Christian religion like the Moslem religion in Africa has a far-reaching effect on the society. Political tool: 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. 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. 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. Of colonialism because the tenets of the passage, because of its conservative or.! 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