Christianity In The Midst Of Slavery

1323 words - 5 pages

Religious persecution within the slave community sometimes happened and occurred in different forms. The first form to address is blatant and outright opposition of slaves engaging in anything pertaining to Christianity. Mary Reynolds on Page 6 says,

“ We was so scared of Solomon and his whip though and he n’t like frolicin’. He didn’t like for the Niggers to pray nuther. We never heard of n church but the Niggers would have prayin’s and singings in they cabins. We ud sit on the floor and pray with our heads down low and sing low but if Solomon could hear he would come and beat on the wall with the stock of his whip. He ‘ud say you cant pray all night and work tomorrow, I’ll come in there and tear the hide off yo’ backs.”
Mary Reynolds would also give an account of her family leaving a religious worship even, in which she says on pages 7-8, “When we was coming back from prayin’ following near to the road I stopped in my track once to listen. I had sharper ears than my maw and paw and I thought I heard the Nigger dogs and somebody on horseback. I said, Maw its them Nigger hounds, they will eat us up. You could hear them old dogs and sluts a bayin’…” This account summarizes to what extent some slave owners and overseers were willing to go to in order to hinder slaves from engaging in Christian activity. It is important to note that not all slave owners were viciously in opposition to slave’s receiving religious instruction. Another means in which would be classified as persecution would be the acts of purposefully teaching the slaves perverted doctrines of Christianity that were specifically created to further the interests of the slave owners hold upon his slaves, rather than care about their actual souls. Some slave masters would purposefully hinder them from hearing Christian teachings, for fear that if the slaves actually became Christians, they would have to be freed. Blassingame says,
“… colonial masters feared that christianization would automatically lead to emancipation of the slaves. Consequently, colonial masters denied religious instruction to their bondsmen throughout the eighteenth century. Along similar lines, some slave owners or ministers would purposefully introduce teachings from the Bible in erroneous and twisted ways, just to solidify power over their slaves, particularly in catechisms. (Blassingame, The Slave Community, 87)
In some cases, teachings were added into catechisms that were not even in the Bible. These were especially offensive means to try to further slave control through a guise of Christian teachings. Fortunately enough, many of the blacks could discern the differences fro the actual Christian religion as espoused from the Bible, verses the representatives and the culture that surrounded Christian slavery. (Frederick Douglas Quote)
Discrimination also played another role within the relations between blacks and whites within the church. Dr. Blassingame says, “An overwhelming majority of the slaves throughout...

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