University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa Abstract The aim of this article is to describe the impact of Christianity on sub-Saharan Africa. They also believe that there is life after death because of their faith in Jesus. Christianity arrived in Africa in the late 1st or early 2nd century AD, making these Christian communities some of the earliest in the world. Portuguese commercial voyages played an important role in the spreading of Christianity to West Africa – Roman Catholic priests accompanied the Portuguese expeditions and spread Christianity among the Africans they encountered during their voyages. By 180 AD the new religion had spread throughout the whole Roman Empire, into Persia (Iran), North Africa and India. This made the authorities very nervous and they decided to get rid of him by getting him arrested, tried and executed. By 1300 it had spread to Iceland, China and Russia, and from there to southern Africa, Asia and the Americas through European colonisers. Once in North Africa, Christianity spread slowly West from Alexandria and East to Ethiopia. They have to do good deeds by helping people and improving society, or by working for peace and justice in the world. Mark the Evangelist made history in the year 43 when he became the first bishop to serve in the Orthodox Church of Alexandria. One day Jesus visited Jerusalem and he was welcomed like a king by the people. Christianity started to spread to Africa. Joseph was a carpenter in Nazareth, but very little is known or written down about Jesus' life as a young boy. Reasons will be explored for the relative marginality of Christianity in most of Africa before the nineteenth century. Of course, it has not in Europe or North America as well. A white dove symbolizes peace and love, both Christian principles. He also told them to baptise people in the name of the Trinity. Christians, Jews and Muslims believe that a loving God created everything. Early Christianity in North Africa • Christianity spread to North Africa by early 2nd century. Jesus' life as a preacher in the public eye began when he read some of the words of the prophet Isaiah aloud. Christians believe that god wants them to follow Jesus' example, with the help of the Holy Spirit. In West Africa, The Portuguese began to settle in 1400. The kingdom was located along major international trade routes through the Red Sea between India and the Roman empire. After his death Jesus was buried in a tomb cut out of rock and closed over with a heavy stone. Time will tell whether Christian values will continue to have more influence in Africa. Part 3 Christianity in South Africa sub-cultures: all-male christianity in gold-mine compounds, Tshidiso Maloka-- Women's christian organisations, Deborah Gaiskell-- Conversion, slavery and gender in urban western Cape, Robert C.H. Christians commemorate Christmas on 25 December every year. Spread of Islamic Culture. The development and spread of Islamic cultures. Angels are also Christian symbols because, like Christians, they serve God. The expansion of the Arab Empire in the years following the Prophet Muhammad’s death led to the creation of caliphates occupying a vast geographical area. The adoption of Christianity in Ethiopia dates to the fourth-century reign of the Aksumite emperor Ezana. The spread of Islam. Christianity, despite its eclipse from most of Northern Africa in subsequent centuries. Roman soldiers arrested him after Judas told them who Jesus was and where he could be found. So, how does the world's largest religion look in this major continent? But with the Mongol invasions of the 13th century, Christianity’s eastern journey came to … Christianity - Christianity - 19th-century efforts: A worldwide movement of evangelical fervour and renewal, noted for its emphasis on personal conversion and missionary expansion, stirred new impulses for Christian unity in the 19th century. “Christianity was a double-edged sword [for African-Americans],” says Dr. Lawrence H. Mamiya, Professor of Religion and Africana Studies at Vassar … The Bible says that an angel Gabriel visited Mary before she married Joseph and told her that she would become pregnant through the power of God. They celebrate Jesus' birth by giving each other gifts. While Christianity was made the … 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. Christianity spread from Israel, around the Mediterranean Sea, to Egypt, Syria and the rest of the world. More information about, https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/3747328, catalog, articles, website, & more in one search, books, media & more in the Stanford Libraries' collections, Christianity in South Africa : a political, social & cultural history. Source: www.biblepicturegallery.com. 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. Source: atschool.eduweb.co.uk. They were called disciples. Aksum’s geographic location, at the southernmost edge of the Hellenized Near East, was critical to its conversion and development. In the early days there was a lot of opposition to Christianity, especially from the Roman emperors. “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. Google Scholar Nürnberger, K. (1975), ‘The Sotho notion of the Supreme Being under the impact of the Christian Proclamation’, Journal of Religion in Africa , … South Africa. Christians eat bread and drink wine that has been blessed by a priest or minister during Holy Communion. Wave after wave of persecution was unleashed to squash it. This is the currently selected item. Christians believe that he died for their sins. When he was about 30 years old he began telling people about God. Understanding Contemporary Africa, pp.317-350]. (Stanford users can avoid this Captcha by logging in.). To understand what Christianity means in Africa today, we need to look at the spread of this religion in Africa across history. Part 2 The churches of modern Africa: Afrikaner churches, Johann Kinghorn-- English-speaking churches, John W. de Gruchy-- Lutheran missions and churches, Georg Scriba, Gunnar Lislerud-- The Roman Catholic Church, Joy Barin-- African initiated churches, Hennie Pretorius, Lizo Jafta-- The Pentecostals, Allan A. Anderson, Gerald J. Pillay. Catholic Missionaries started to work in the Portuguese colonies. The religion is likewise present in a few countries in the Northeast and furthermore the Western district. As the UNESCO General History of Africasummarises, unlike many other faiths: It is thus perhaps more comprehensible, given the above, why so many African rulers and elites were ready to adopt a foreign religion when it also brought with it definite advantages of governance and wealth. The church was considered a religio prava, an illegal and depraved religion. He was especially concerned and caring towards the poor and other outcasts like lepers. The Christian Bible is made up of two parts and the word "bible" comes from the Greek word for book, "biblos". This article about Christianity in South Africa today first appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of Providence‘s print edition. Christianity and Colonialism in South Africa. Part 1 The transplanting of christianity: The Reformed Church and colonial society under Dutch rule, Jonathan N. Gerstner-- Early missions in the Cape colony, Elizabeth Elbourne, Robert Ross-- Churches of 19th-century European immigrants, R. Davenport-- Christian beginnings (Xhosa), Janet Hodgson-- Christian beginnings (ZULU and Swazi), Norman Etherington-- Monarchs and missionaries (Tswana and Sotho), Roger B. Beck-- The spread of christianity in Transorangia, Irving Hexham, Karla Poewe. Christians believe that God is important to guide them and to help them to live their lives in a Christian way with good values and morals. 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. Spread of Islam. Factors Which Influenced the Spread Of Christianity . Religions of South Africa. Jesus was crucified on a hill called Golgotha on a Friday around the year 29 AD. Christians commemorate Lent to remember how Jesus once spent 40 days fasting in the wilds. 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 … To read the original in a PDF format, click here.To receive whole copies of future issues, subscribe here. shell-- Christianity and the jews, Milton Shain-- christianity among Indian South Africans, Gerald J. Pillay. From the time of the first white settlements in South Africa, the Protestant emphasis on home Bible reading ensured that basic literacy would be achieved in the family.Throughout the development from itinerant teachers to schools and school systems, the family foundation of Christian education remained, though it was gradually extended to embrace an ethnic-linguistic “family.” His mother and father were a Jewish couple called Mary and Joseph. Norman, E. (1981), Christianity in the Southern Hemisphere: The churches in Latin American and South Africa (Oxford: Clarendon). People came to listen to him speak and to ask him for help wherever he went. This is called the Resurrection because Jesus was raised from the dead. The World Book Encyclopedia has stipulated that Christians constitute 80% of Africa’s populace in 2002. Jesus was crucified. On the day of Easter, brightly coloured Easter eggs are hidden in a garden. Some religious scholars believe that Christianity was introduced to Africans by … The Roman ruler at the time, Pontius Pilate, didn't believe that Jesus had committed any serious crimes, but a large crowd of people demanded that he be crucified. On Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent begins, they use all the rich foods like butter, eggs and oil in their houses, and during Lent they give up certain foods. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour.". “Although Christianity and Islam have added distinct elements to African religions, each has been and continued to be adapted to and shaped by Africa’s indigenous religious heritage” [Ambrose Moyo, 2007:326 “Religion in Africa” in G&G. shell-- Christianity and the jews, Milton Shain-- christianity among Indian South Africans, Gerald J. Pillay. After the Gospels there is a book called the Acts of the Apostles that tells us about the time after the Resurrection and the spread of Christianity. They felt that he was a troublemaker and were threatened by his teachings. AICs have also demonstrated a strong missionary tendency in that most of the spread of Christianity throughout Africa in the 20 th century can be attributed to African Independent Churches. This is the biggest Christian festival and celebrates Christ's Resurrection, or return, from death. Part 4 Christianity and creative arts: Christianity and literature, Jeff Opland-- Christian music in the western tradition, Barry Smith-- Christian music among Africans, David Dargie-- South African christian architecture, Dennis Radford. By 100 AD 25 000 Christians had been killed for their beliefs, but their numbers kept on growing. This is also why they are called Christians. Christianity appreciates across the board fame in Africa especially in the countries arranged in the Southeast, Southern, and Central areas of the mainland.. The last book of the New Testament is called Revelations and describes the end of the world. Crosses and crucifixes of all kinds are Christian symbols. Christianity has clearly not completely taken hold in Africa. Jesus travelled across the country helping and healing people. 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. The spread of the Christian church in its earliest centuries is one of the most amazing phenomena in all of human history. The development and spread of Islamic cultures. On the day after his death, a Saturday and the Jewish Sabbath, a group of his women followers came to his grave and discovered his body was no longer in his tomb. Origins of major world religions reflected in SA, St Michael and All Angels Anglican Church, Boksburg. It will additionally examine Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa before 1800 including the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Kongo Catholicism. When Jesus left his disciples he told them to spread the word of God's love. In the next few weeks Jesus appeared to his disciples and friends. They believed that he had been made alive again through God's power. He travelled all over the country, healed sick people and performed other good deeds and miracles. He spread the word of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire by visiting synagogues, preaching, and writing letters. One of Jesus' disciples called Judas Iscariot betrayed him to Roman authorities. Africa is one of the largest and most populous continents in the world, as well as the birthplace of humanity. February 1986; ... as well as the spread of cultural elements such as religious systems. Christians believe that the son of God Jesus Christ, came to earth to guide his people back to God. Christianity in Africa arrived in Egypt in the middle of the 1st century. In the first millennium, Christianity spread east from Palestine to Iraq, and on to India and China, becoming a global religion accepting of, and accepted by, other faiths. E-mail Citation » A wide-ranging synthesis of the literature on the diverse religions of South Africa that stresses their historical development and social significance in the context of colonial rule and apartheid. The New Testament talks about Jesus and his life and has four Gospels, or books, that describe his life. The date for Easter changes every year because it is normally held on the first Friday in April. Email. Part 3 Christianity in South Africa sub-cultures: all-male christianity in gold-mine compounds, Tshidiso Maloka-- Women's christian organisations, Deborah Gaiskell-- Conversion, slavery and gender in urban western Cape, Robert C.H. During special church services called the Holy Communion Christians eat bread and drink wine that has been blessed by a priest or minister. Christians believe that his suffering took away all their sins. There are letters to different groups of Christians teaching them about Christianity. It is perhaps worth noting at the start that the spread of Islam in Africa was much more than the passing on and adoption of religious ideas. © Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305. Editor's Note . The rise of Islamic empires and states. Roman life in North Africa was heavily concentrated around urban centers—by the end of the second century, there was upwards of six million people living in Roman North African provinces, a third of those living in the 500 or so cities and towns which had developed. With strong cultural ties between Roman Judea (Israel) and the Greco-Roman Egypt (a large Jewish population lived in Alexandria, Egypt), Mark the Evangelist … Once it was introduced to Africa, Christianity slowly spread from Alexandria to Ethiopia. Christianity is currently the world's largest religion with over 2 billion followers. Conversion to Islam was boosted by missionary activities, particularly those of Imams, who easily intermingled with local populace to propagate religious teachings. Google Classroom Facebook Twitter. Christianity found its way to Sudan in the 1st century as well, and the region's Nubian churches had links to those in Egypt. Hastings, Adrian. They say that God combines three persons in one. Jesus Christ was born more than 2 000 years ago in a stable in a small town called Bethlehem. At least two of the persecutions were empire-wide and intended to destroy the church. Angels do God's bidding in heaven. Today Christianity is one of the biggest religions in the world. A History of African Christianity, 1950–1975. The spread of Christianity throughout Egypt and Northern Africa, during the first five centuries was rapid and intense, despite the prevalence of false teachings, persecutions and martyrdom. The Old Testament is made up of the same books as the Jewish Bible, but Christians have a different understanding of these writings. Christianity has existed in Africa arguably since a decade after the death of Jesus of Nazareth. Saint Paul, originally named Saul, was a crucial part in the development of Christianity. Jesus told people that these words were the reason for his birth. In the early days there was a lot of opposition to Christianity, especially from the Roman emperors. Children then go an Easter egg hunt to find them. His lessons and preaching upset many people, especially political and religious leaders. ... personhood and personal responsibility for development … Source: www.st-therese-church.com. the world and teach the religion of Christianity. CONTENTS: "A Christian Monopoloy: The Reformed Church and Colonial Society under Dutch Rule, " by Jonathan N. Gerstner "Combating Spiritual and Social Bondage: Early Missions in the Cape Colony, " by Elizabeth Elbourne and Robert Ross "Settlement, Conquest and Theological Controversy: The Churches of Nineteenth-century European Immigrants, " by Rodney Davenport "A Battle for Sacred Power: Christian Beginnings Among the Xhosa, " by Janet Hodgson "Kingdoms of This World and the Next: Christian Beginnings among Zulu and Swazi, " by Norman Etherington "Monarchs and Missionaries among the Tswana and Sotho, " by Roger B. Beck "The Spread of Christianity among Whites and Blacks in Transorangia, " by Irving Hexham and Karla Poewe "Modernization and Apartheid: The Afrikaner Churches, " by Johann Kinghorn "Grappling with a Colonial Heritage: The English-speaking Churches under Imperialism and Apartheid, " by John W. De Gruchy "Lutheran Misions and Churches in South Africa, " by Georg Scriba with GunnarLislerud "Moving from the Margins to the Mainstream: The Roman Catholic Church, " by Joy Brain "A Branch Springs Out: African Initiated Churches, " by Hennie Pretorius and Lizo Jafta "The Segregated Spirit: The Pentecostals, " by Allan A. Anderson &-- Gerald J. Pillay "The Struggle for Sunday: All-male Christianity in the Gold Mine Compounds, " by Tshidiso Maloka "Power in Prayer and Service: Women's Christian Organizations, " by Deborah Gaitskell "Between Christ and Mohammed: Conversion, Slavery, and Gender in the Urban Western Cape, " by Robert C. H. Shell "Ambivalence, Antipathy, and Accommodation: Christianity and the Jews, " by Milton Shain "Community Service and Conversion: Christianity among Indian South Africans, " by Gerald J. Pillay "The Drumbeat of the Cross: Christianity and Literature, " by Jeff Opland "South African Christian Music: A) Christian Music in the Western Tradition, " by Barry Smith "South African Christian Music: B) Christian Music Among Africans, " by David Dargie "South African Christian Architecture, " by Dennis Radford "Millenial Christianity, British Imperialism, and African Nationalism, " by Wallace G. Mills "The Benevolent Empire and the Social Gospel: Missionaries and South African Christians in the Age of Segregation, " by Richard Elphick "Creation and Apartheid: South African Theology since 1948, " by Eugene M. Klaaren "Christianity and the Anti-Apartheid Struggle: the Prophetic Voice within Divided Churches, " by Peter Walshe. Part 5 Christianity, power and race: Millennial christianity-- British imperialism and African nationalism, Wallace G. Mills-- Missionaries and South African christians in the age of segregation, R. Elphick-- South African theology since 1948, E.M. Klaaren-- Christianity and anti-apartheid struggle, P. Walshe. A study of missionary settlement and the spread of Christianity in southern Africa during the period 1800 - 1925, including a piece on the role of missionaries, a list of mission stations, and case studies of individual mission stations. These early caliphates, coupled with Muslim economics and trading and the later expansion of the Ottoman Empire, resulted in Islam’s spread outwards from Mecca towards bo… Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph. They saw that the heavy stone had been rolled away. He chose 12 men to be his travelling companions to help him in his mission. The Stanford Libraries will be operating on a reduced schedule during the Stanford Winter Closure period (December 14, 2020 - January 1, 2021). • Many early North African Christians were ascetics, called Desert Fathers for living in harsh conditions in the desert, trying to totally overcome sin, sex, their bodies, and Satan; to thus become like Christ. These priests, however, had very little success and little was accomplished (Onyinah 2007:306). I shall start by first examining the key words in the title of this article, and by briefly discussing the phenomenal growth of Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa. London: Routledge, 1992. Christianity is the world's largest religion, practiced by roughly 2.2 billion people worldwide. They do this to remember Christ's last meal before he was arrested with his disciples. There is an audio bible online, listen to some of it in class, click here. Africa, and specifically Nigeria is subject to many problems, including corruption, greed, continued sexual immorality and violence. A simple line-drawn fish is also a symbol of Christianity and can sometimes be seen on the back of people's cars. Without Saint Paul, Christianity would not have been a major religion of the world, instead, another would have likely taken its place. Christianity was mostly in Europe at the time. The first part is the Old Testament and the second part is called the New Testament. It was the number one religion of European people. Source: www.drsmdavis.com. This material was researched and prepared by Franco Frescura to be published in book form. By 1300 it had spread to Iceland, China and Russia, and from there to southern Africa, Asia and the Americas through European colonisers. • … This is why Mary is also called the Mother of God and the Virgin Mary. By 100 AD 25 000 Christians had been killed for their beliefs, but their numbers kept on growing. 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