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Christianity, colonisation and Africa: The untold truth

by Church Times

By Dr Motunrayo Adetola

Many people think Christianity is an import from Europe, But Dr. Motunrayo Adetola in this short piece chronicles how the continent evolved with the faith and clears the misinformation about colonisation

1. Christianity is as much African as it is Middle Eastern. If you quickly read Acts 2 when the Church was inaugurated at Pentecost, of the 14 languages listed there, only one is European (Rome), and three were African (Egypt, Libya, Cyrene).
2. Christianity didn’t get to England till 595 AD (end of 6th century). In contrast, St Mark the author of the gospel named after him was the first Bishop of the Church in Alexandria in Egypt barely a dozen years after the resurrection of Christ by 45 AD.
3. The canonization of the Bible was done in Africa in the 4th century and the leading thoughts and theologians of the first 5 centuries were Africans. Folks like Apollos (in the Bible), Simon of Cyrene (in the Bible) Augustine of Hippo (Algeria), Athanasius, Cyprian of Carthage (Tunisia), Origen, Arian, etc.
Please note North Africa had indigenous Africans called Amazighs (Berbers) many of whom were canonized as saints in the early Church.
North Africa only changed after the 7th and 8th centuries of Islamic invasion. North Africa was 80-90% Christian then. Ethiopia was Christian very early too and that is documented in scripture too.
4. The wrongly maligned Niceae conference (325-330 AD) arose because of a massive disagreement in the Alexandria (Egypt) Church. Out of that ecumenical conference came lots of settled understanding about the fundamentals of Christianity.
I tell these stories to remind those who will come and tell stories otherwise. These are the facts of the first 600 years of Christianity.
5. Transatlantic Slave Trade started in the 1500s. The Jihadists from Saudi Arabia were at least 7 centuries ahead of Europeans in taking Africans away into Slavery.
6. Colonialism came about 1800s.
Summation: How do we get to blame Christianity, a religious movement with the Strongest Roots in Africa precisely since Christianity itself began for atrocities which came 1500 and 1800 years later? 🤔

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