Full Length Research Paper
The role of women in the Church in Africa
Department of Philosophy Religion and Theology, Maseno University, Kenya. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: +254 722-77020, +254 733-703603. Accepted 3 February, 2010
This paper gives a general view of the role played by women in African instituted churches. It touches several roles of women in different instituted churches keeping in mind that there are so many African instituted churches some will be used to represent the general role played by women. The paper also will explain how women were viewed in the Old Testament, New Testament and Letters of St. Paul. This will give a background as to how women have been prominent in the churches throughout history. Interviews have also been conducted on the churches that could not be available this was to find out the general role played by women. The paper will centre its emphasis on the role of women in the African instituted churches, it will also touch some impediments that are facing women in some independent churches such as the Nomiya Luo Church in Kenya. This church that tries to bar off women from participation. This is caused by men's attitude towards women who are looked at as inferior, incapable and are in perpetual pollution due to their nature of being biologically females. Key words: Women, Church in Africa. INTRODUCTION The theme of the woman is a particularly disputed topic in contemporary political, theological and social debate. Three relevant and universal documents declare the fundamental equality of the human beings. The Bible, The Vatican II and The Universal declaration of the human rights. Let us see: The Bible "All baptized in Christ, you have all clothed yourselves in Christ and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are in Christ Jesus" Gal. 3:28. "And you are all brothers and sisters" Matt. 23:8. The Vatican II "Men are plainly not equal in physical, intellectual and moral powers. But we should overcome and remove every kind of discrimination which affects fundamental rights, whether it be social and cultural discrimination or based in sex, race, colour, class, language or religion. All Article I "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood". Yes, but the reality is very far from the theory. In all times, cultures, places, religions, churches, among others the woman has been considered as "a bun fruit". Why is it? Any woman will say that is "irrational fear of the blood". Maybe Myths, beliefs, and rocentrism, chauvinism, economy, traditions, religion, psychology, philosophy and even biological factors have contributed to this situation. The particular conditions of the African woman, due to the singular traditions and especial situation of this continent makes the gender such discrimination is opposed to God's purposes. It is really deplorable that the fundamental rights are still not everywhere securely guaranteed as when women are not allowed freely to choose a husband or adopt some other state of life, or are denied educational or cultural equity with men" Vat II. G. et Spes No. 29. The Universal declaration of the human rights (1948).
issue very attractive and defiant. Questions like polygamy, cliteridectomy, levirate, dowry, barrenness, super-valuation of the women's role of production reproduction, are very disputed not only among feminist circles but among all society. Objective The objective of this study was to find out the role of women in the church in Africa. METHODOLOGY The information contained here comes from two sources: first, library...