Africans Contribution to Global Christianity
For many years Africans have looked down on themselves. It is interesting to note that the greatest enemies of Africans are Africans themselves. We have worked so hard to destroy our rich history to the point that even the facts of history don’t make sense to us. Only a small population that has sought to know our history understand that Africa has contributed immensely to global Christianity. Most of the contribution happened before colonialists came to Africa. The bitterness that has been there due to the enslavement of Africans for many years cannot erase the fact of Africans contribution to global Christianity. Africans have chosen to build their faith history from the coming of colonialist, which has only bred bitterness and anger. It has resulted in rejecting the person of Jesus Christ by some hence condemning themselves to hell. Also, many have fought to maintain their African Tradition Religion claiming this is the way to go. We are struggling in many churches with the issue of man’s loyalty with their traditions, including what nullifies Christ as the mediator between God and man hence choosing ancestors as mediators with the spirit world.
Africans have been instrumental to Christianity as we have it today. Many great individuals that shaped the world of Theology trace their roots in Africa. Africans heard and embraced the gospel long before the white nations became Christians. In antiquity, the continent produced three popes: St. Victor (189-99), St. Melchiades (311-314) and St. Gelasius (492-96). It has also raised great church fathers and martyrs like Cyprian (The first bishop martyr of Africa), Zeno, Pachomius, Athanasius, Augustine, Tertullian who coined the word “trinity.” Augustine proved to be one of the greatest minds of all church history, influencing the church for 1,600 years until the present. All these great individuals were all in North Africa. Sadly, much of what was once a vibrant Christian Church in North Africa was dramatically swept away by the Islam invasions during the seventh century. Among North African contributions includes the composition of hymns and regulations of church worship. Africa was indeed a trendsetter in modern-day Christianity.
Africa Shaped Christianity
The assertion that Western religions introduced Christianity to Africa is not valid. The fundamental belief structure, the biblical interpretation methods, Christian leadership, the rhetorical and argumentative skills of early Christianity have their roots in Africa. The brightest theological minds, the foremost historians, the great teachers and preachers of early Christianity were born and matured in Africa. Thomas Oden in his book, “How Africa shaped the Christian mind”, states that “Christianity would not have its present vitality in two-thirds of the world without the intellectual understanding that developed in Africa between 50 C.E. and 500 C.E.” It is interesting to note that even some western authors and theologians admit the greatness of the African mind, which some Africans will not embrace.
Sarah Kiarie, a Kenyan gospel artist, wrote a song arise, Africa. It is a season for Africans to arise. We are receiving calls from the West to send missionaries. Here is another call to contribute to the world. We cannot build our lives on foundations of bitterness and expect to contribute positively to the world. Salvation is about the eternal destiny of humanity. Our calling is to proclaim the gospel. Rejecting Christ on the ground that Christianity originated from the West is sheer ignorance.
Don’t Miss Jesus
So if you’re one of the people that claim that Christianity is a white man’s religion, please look at your history and realise that Christianity is very much a worldwide religion with foundational input from Africa. Don’t be blinded by the popular narrative out there that embracing Christianity is embracing a piece of colonialism and rejecting Africa. Doing so may lead you to miss the worldwide Savior that is for Africa, Jesus Christ (John 3:16). It is through him and him alone that we are saved (John 14:6, Acts 4:12) and to reject him because of a lack of historical understanding of Christianity will have eternal consequences (Matthew 25:41, Matthew 18:8, Jude 1:7, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-9). Please repent and come to know the Lord Jesus as he is to be known in the scriptures. If you want to receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour, please click the “Receive Christ” button below.
1 thought on “Is Christianity a “Whiteman religion?” – African Contributions to Global Christianity”
Thanks for your article asking whether Christianity is a white man’s religion. As you rightly say church history reveals very significant African contributions to all branches of christian theology. St Mark the apostle, founded the Alexandrian church in Egypt between 40 and 50 AD, even before Rome. The Alexandrian church gave us key theologians from the famous catechetical school based there.
Another often ignored fact is the antiquity of the Ethiopian church, dating back to the 4th century, and which has nothing to do with the ‘whiteman’ missionary christianity of the colonial era.