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Christianity: Race, Colonization and Inequality

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Christianity: Race, Colonization and Inequality

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  • March 2008
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Since the commencement of European colonial expansion to the Americas and to Africa, the countries of Christian Europe have been faced with massive opportunities for the exploitation of peoples less powerful and technically advanced than themselves—opportunities that they hurriedly grasped. With their conquest grew the conviction that they were superior not only in technology, but also in terms of their belonging to a particular "race"—the white race. However, the most quintessential question of all is whether God created race or not. Genesis 1:27 tells us that "God created man." He did not create so-called "Blacks" and "Whites." All were created in His image. One may then wonder what He looks like. Besides, if all people came from Adam and Eve, therefore, where did race come from? As a matter of fact, climate and infrastructure has everything to do with one's physical features depending on one's geographical location. For instance, one would expect people from the south to be darker in complexion than people from the north. The undeniable truth holds that man has adapted to the environment; the body was designed to protect itself and to adjust to survive. So, what substantiates the Christian claim of Jesus being a white Nordic man, given the historical fact that He was from a region inhabited by Afro-Asiatic peoples (Pimienta-Bey 1, 2)? Why has Christianity been unable to eliminate racial discrimination and prejudices amongst themselves? How did the early Christians deal with the issue of slavery? Why have the most virulent forms of racism in America all involved religious organizations? Such are the interrogations that we need to shed some light on in order to show how Christianity has evolved vis-à-vis the controversial notion of "races" and "racism" in various social, cultural and political contexts with regard to the African-American experience in particular.

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