Religion in Africa

Topics: Africa, African traditional religion, Religion in Africa Pages: 3 (936 words) Published: April 8, 2013
Peoples and Cultures of Africa
Religion in Africa
All over the world, many religions exist and are found in the everyday lives of millions of people. These religions have many cultural influences on the life of a person but also have influences on the government bodies that govern countries. Religion is also an important look at the history of a nation and gives an inside look at how and why a country is run the way it is. In Africa, religion plays a tremendous role in everyday lifestyles. The three main types of religion in Africa are Christianity, Islam, and the traditional religions used by the tribes across Africa.

Christianity in Africa first started during the colonial periods of Africa. When the colonialist first appeared in Africa, their goal was to modernize the people of Africa. One of the ways they did this was by converting the tribesmen to Christianity. The goal of converting the tribe’s people was to get as many converts as possible. The reason that they wanted to convert the Africans to Christianity was due to the fact that the colonialists labeled the African traditional religions as “pagan” and thought that it made the Africans look uncivilized (Weaving Religion into Development). Many Africans ended up converting to Christianity because they could connect it with their old traditional religion. For example, in some old African religions, they viewed water as a symbol of life (Winder). In Christianity, water is used during baptism to purify the sins and to make sure that you live a good life. The Africans were also able to identify with the healings that Christ did when he was alive. Due to the healers in the African villages, they were able to understand Christianity and the healing practices that Christ performed. So many Africans were able to convert to Christianity with little problem.

In today’s society, many Africans are still converting to Christianity, in 1985 the average rate to convert to Christianity in South Africa was...

Cited: Motsau. 2002. “In South Africa, many blacks convert to Islam” Christian Science Monitor, Jan 9, retrieved Jan 21 from
Public Agenda. 2009. “Weaving Religion into Development.” Africa News, July 6, retrieved Jan 20 from
Uchendu, Egodi. 2010. “Evidence for Islam in Southeast Nigeria.” The Social Science Journal 47(1): 172-188. Retrieved Jan 20, 2011 from
Winder, David. 1985. “Christianity Spreads Across Africa.” Christian Science Monitor, September 3,, retrieved Jan 23 from
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