History of Christianity in Africa

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11/10/08

History of Christianity in Africa

Europeans nations such as, Britain, France, Portugal, Italy etc. wanted to expand their territory, spread the ways of their culture and beliefs, find new resources and markets. At that time, Africa seemed like the perfect place to explore. There was not much known about the mysterious continent and this ignited their curiosity. They wanted to know the kind of potential benefits Africa would bring. Since these powerful European nations didn’t know what to expect, they sent in explorers like, Gil Eannes and Mungo Park. The explorers acted like spies. They went to through many different African nations to find out, which people were friendly and which weren’t. Also they were supposed to explore the popular river systems and find what kind of raw materials were sold. They wrote about all their adventures, experiences, the kind of people they have met and the things they see in journals, that were later read by the powerful colonial governments. After the explorers did their part missionaries were sent to Africa. Before the missionaries came to Africa, the religion that was practiced were oral and very traditional. And rulers in African nations were closely linked to religion, rulers were also seen as spiritual leaders. And they are looked up to by the people, for guidance, strength and prosperity.

In the early sixteen centuries, Portugal sent in Catholic missionaries to gain the trust of certain African rulers, and convert them. Portugal was hoping that the converted rulers, would trust them and become allies. At first, different African nations were curious about the missionaries, and were only interested in new trading markets but once the missionaries criticized their religious practices, they felt threatened and had many of these missionaries thrown and often killed. During the nineteenth centuries, Christianity started to rise in many African nations. Most of the missionaries, felt that Africa...
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