To What Extent Did The Spread Of Christianity Violate Human Rights And Freedom In Africa? By Walubo Jude Tadeo

1919 words - 8 pages

subjugation of Africans, Coloureds and Indians for the sake of South Africa. Christian Missionaries based their principles and programmes on doctrines of racial superiority, relegated Africans to a second race, denying then the human respect.Christian missionaries never at one time had any respect for the religious freedom of Africans who practiced Traditional religion. They regarded Christianity and Traditional African religions as an equal and worked hard to eliminate them. There was a secret agreement on the practice of mission in Africa. Christian missionaries did not try so much to convert Muslims, and Muslims didn't work hard to convert Christians - as they already belong to a faith. Followers of traditional African religions, on the other hand, constituted the contested missionary fields, as they still were regarded not "belong to a faith". They were seen as "heathens" - a term still widely used by Christian missionaries. This contravenes the Universal Right to Religious Freedom.To entrench and defend such White dominance, the Christians set about policies that would block Africans from gaining consciousness of the operation of religion denying them the right to and question religious information. It is on record for example that catholic converts were not allowed to read the Bible. Christianity was therefore not deviation of a well-intentioned undertaking that went horribly wrong. Neither was it, as we were later told, an attempt to stave off the "evil of slave trade" Its ideological underpinning and the programmes set in motion constituted a deliberate and systematic mission of a ruling clique that saw itself as the champion of a "super-race".It is necessary to note that the Christianity era was preceded by a sustained period of dispossession, denial, and subordination. The process of evangelization in Africa lasted for over two centuries; from the destruction of communities in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, through the Education system, to the disunity among brothers created in the nineteenth century.In the schools established by Christian missionaries, languages for instruction, the lingua franca, discouraged the use of any African language as a national language. In their insistence on the use of the lingua franca, the colonial governments to which Christian missionaries were party, created a state of illiteracy among the African people (Boahen, Ajayi, and Tidy 1986, 133). Where once the people had thrived in the valued traditions of their culture, they were now transformed into a state of deprivation.In the economic spheres of life, the spread of Christianity impoverished African because of the numerous church demands such as tithe and even disillusioning statements like "Happy are poor" that the missionaries used. This left Africans beggars with low standards of living yet the it is a Universal provision that Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family...

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