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Christian Africa | 2000 Years of History

 

     

     

 
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AFRICAN HOLOCAUST ARTICLES

Until lions tell their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter

African Proverb

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will

– Frederick Douglass

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear

– 2 Timothy 4:3

Every man is rich in excuses to safeguard his prejudices, his instincts, and his opinions.

– Ancient Egypt

Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it political? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right.

– Dr. Martin L. King, Jr

God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God

– Matthew 5:9

We are not Africans because we are born in Africa, we are Africans because Africa is born in us.

– Chester Higgins Jr.

Don't waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don't cast your pearls to swine! They will trample them, then turn and attack you

– Matthew 7:6

Leave no brother or sister behind the enemy line of poverty.

– Harriet Tubman

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This site intends to serve three aims: (a) to provide information about Christianity and the African World (the continent and Americas); and (b) to offer a guide to African Christian's global identity in the context of culture and personality. (c) Protect Africa's unique Christian Orthodoxies. It is also a cultural and historical site on a progressive understanding of African traditional Christianity
from the lenses of this promising community of people—the Africans. The objectives are Pan-African and Pan-Africanism creates unity through fostering knowledge between different African religious groups in the world. The site aims to give service to these reflections by dealing with historical truth from a cultural Pan-African position.
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Christianity is revolutionary or oppressive depending on who is teaching it. Like any tool, in the hands of the slave master, or the missionary it will justify Africa's oppression. An African centred reading of Christianity however produces radically different paradigms.

In any multi-faith continent, knowledge of self must include knowledge of our neighbors. Ignorance of each other has been the tool which others can use to create friction. Anyone who does know this will become a victim of the oppressors biggest weapon "divide and rule" In seeking a Pan-African future a constructive dialog is necessary, which deals with Africa today and not a mythical romantic historical Africa.

Culture has never been static, and certainly no static culture has survived history. A culture which is inflexible in a globalized world is a culture on the verge of extinction. African Culture is not a monolith and while the foundations remain fundamentally unaltered, the interpretation and expression of continues to be a forever blossoming flower.

At the beginning of the colonial era less than 5% where Christian, after colonialism less than 50% of Africa was Christian, this rapid transformation created a high degree of cultural displacement, unlike with Islam which was steadily Africanized for over 1000 years. Christianity has been plagued with the history of European conquest and today it is yet to escape that legacy and become an agent of true liberation. With the exception of Ethiopia, the intention of Christianity in Africa was never to create development, in any capacity, in the African mind.

Today Christianity in Africa shares almost equal space with Islam. Both expand at the expense of the native African belief systems. That has always been the way of the world, life and death, and we must accept that reality but also learn from those histories and ancient traditions.




   
Don't waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don't cast your pearls to swine! They will trample them, then turn and attack you
 
Matthew 7:6


Christianity has been a traditional part of the dynamic African landscape for over 2000 years. And beyond argument remains a fundamental sculptor the African cultures in Sudan and Ethiopia. The majority of Christianizing in Africa is unfortunately linked to the enslavement and colonization.
Nazerteh Church (Shembe SA)

In the making of the slave you realize it was not the Bible or Jesus that was ever the problem, it was the slave masters "Two readings of Christianity" one reading secured his desires of exploitation and the other reading secured passive obedience from the enslaved — a slave master friendly version. We can take a third reading and that is our revolution. So it is necessary to deal with tradition African Christianity, which is a beautiful example of African agency within Christian theology.


   
The man that took your eye is telling you to turn the other cheek. The guy that never forgives is telling you to forget
 
 


BEYOND SLAVE MODELS

Before Jesus and Mary, there was Ancient Egypt With all the devotion to God it is strange how most cannot explain one Biblical story or even understand the history of Christianity, or the life of Jesus. They cannot even have an intelligent objective conversation about the religion they hold so dare. As much as they claim to love God and the church, they never ever want to actually discuss anything about the real Bible

beyond "what the pastor said." So extreme is this brainwashed mind-set is they see Muslims, Jews, and even other Christians (who might even be identical to them) as heretics and beyond salvation.Yet they do not know the difference between Psalms and Timothy. And then there is that wonderful mechanism of closing down when challenged about their knowledge of the scripture. That defense mechanism for preventing the pre-programmed pastor message from being eroded by truth.


   
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I no longer used childish ways
 
1 Corinthians 13:11

How is this possible? Because despite the 2% good in these new churches it implants concepts "Have faith", "Praise the Lord" but in almost every instances it attaches no hard ethics to this rhetoric. So these statements of "belief" are left abstract and floating. It also explains why we see (esp in Southern Africa) people living such contradictory lives, pastors who sleep with 1/2 the choir, alcohol abuse followed by church at 8am, vulgarly dishonest people, stealing and wickedness – just after mass. Because the religion is not actually attached to any true morals or practicality of living in the real world, and while everyone has these issues at least there should be some sense of right and wrong — even when engaged in a "sin."' It distracts the mind from seeking development and consciousness of self. It does not inform people about their history, their culture. It does not stimulate the mind to learn more about anything other than their narrow teaching of a very dynamic and rich Bible. Divorced from reality and in a spritual/intellectual vacuum people are better exploited, and content to be passive in the development of their country and continent.


   
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
 
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (Tanakh)

There must then clearly be a time for revolution!


African Kings African Kings African Kings
     

JESUS OF THE BIBLE

Jesus plays a central role in Christianity, as well as in Islam. And while there is an debate on Jesus was a prophet of a "god" very few realize is that Jesus was a revolutionary, he was a socialist and he was a enemy of imperialism. He was also anti-corruption, and anti-capitalist. Yet very few Christians have that conversation when discussing "No one gets to the father but through me (my way of life)." The harsh question for Christians today is "What would Jesus be doing if he was alive today?" and that one question alone will show the serious spiritual and political detour of many so-called Christians. Would Jesus be driving the latest Lexus? Would Jesus be pro-War in the Middle East? Would Jesus support the invasion of Libya and the exploitation in the Congo by the super powers? Would Jesus be okay with the suffering of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli forces? Would Jesus support the designs of the Oligarchy? Would he marry two gay men in a ceremony? And would Jesus support the exploitation and race based privileges Europeans continue to enjoy? By looking at his ancient message we find all the answers to this basic question.

Some Africanist take issue with Jesus, but Jesus owned no slaves, he did not run a state, like David, Muhammad, Askia, Menelik, or Moses. He was not a military general (like Chaka Zulu or Hannibal), he carried no sword, he debauched no women, he had no debts. He was a poor Jewish man with few possessions who had a small following--not even a religion-but an intellectual social circle of revolutionaries. What did he ever do to anyone that would "spoil" his name today? And we must paradigm shift and re-think how we arrive at our twisted conclusions. The intellectual question is Who Was Jesus? Someone 1000's of years later decided to enslave Africans--in his name. Did Jesus sanction this in the Gospels? Did Jesus give them permission to name the ship "Good ship Jesus"? So why take issue with Jesus?


   
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful
 
Joshua 1:8

Jesus or Paul?: Of the three Abrahamic faiths, Christianity is perhaps the most altered from its original teachings. Early Christianity was a sect of Judaism. In most denominations of Christianity, the voice of Paul overshadows the voice of all. Paul seems to be the great arbitrator that abrogates all previous teaches of Christianity. One of the most famous critcisms comes from Thomas Jefferson, who wrote in a letter to James Smith, that "Paul was ... the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus." (Works, 1829 edition, vol. 4, p. 327.

There is also profound differences between Paul and Jesus: When the Southerners in our country sought to defend slavery, they called upon Paul to back them up, citing Ephesians 6:5 and Titus 2:9-10, where he exhorts slaves to obey their masters, and the fact that slavery was widely practiced, but Paul never condemned it once. Also Paul was very anti-woman. He ordered that they not be allowed to speak in the churches (I Cor 14:34-45) and that they stay home and take care of the children (1Timothy 5:14), and that wives should be submissive to the mastery of their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-24 and Colossians 3:18-19).


   
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference
 
Serenity Pray

While Paul teaches a salvation based solely on faith (Romans 3:28: "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.") and not one's deeds, Jesus reportedly teaches the opposte: that behavioral requirements (works/ deeds), rooted in an internal change of spiritual growth within the person (not external or apart from the person, though the gift of teaching and techniques to achieve this personal change are a gift of grace not earned or deserved by us, but requiring actions [deeds] to implement), are integral to salvation. Jesus was a Jewish rabbi who always upheld the Law of Moses. In his first public teaching, the Sermon on the Mount, he made it very clear in Matt. 5:18-19: "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." ("jot or tittle" in modern translations is "not one iota nor one dot".) Have heaven and earth passed away? Have all the prophecies, including those of the last days, been fulfilled?


   
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
 
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (Tanakh)

Even some of the occasions when Jesus seems to add to the Law or teach in new and different ways, he goes to great lengths to show that it is based on the Law. For example, when this rabbi asked by a "lawyer" (one versed in the Law of Moses) what was the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus turns the question back to him and asks what is in the Law, and from that extrapolates his great commandments to Love God (from Deut 6:5) and Love Neighbor as Self (from Lev. 19:18) which was clearly the centerpiece of his ministry and his doctrine of active love and compassion for all. Paul, on the other hand, wants to throw out the Law of Moses! Romans 3:19-21: "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets."

Some authors go as far as to state that Paul was, in short, a cunning rogue who pieced together a new religion from bits of this and that, and then dressed the whole thing up with a sprinkling of out-of-context Torah quotations. [4]


   
Thank God Ethiopian Christianity did not accept "love your enemies," or else the Italians at the battle of Adwa would have been welcomed with Injera instead of bullets and swords
 
 


Hebrew Slaves

Inside the Bible you have the religious story of the Hebrew Slave in Ancient Egypt. Yet many Africans enslaved mentally and physically could not see the parallels to their dilemma. Follow the Bible and liberate yourself from the modern Pharaoh. How come that obvious Biblical lesson escaped the most staunch Christian? The cry to Pharaoh was "let my people go", "deliver us out of bondage", yet somehow for 300 years Africans were given a religion that spoke of escape from bondage yet the most religious accepted this bondage as the natural order of things.

White Religion: Long before the Western Europeans acquired Christianity, Ethiopia, and later Kush (Sudan) had it. Christianity came from the world that included the Levant and Ancient Ethiopic nations. At some political opportune time Europe (late compared to Ethiopia acquired it). As a tool to aid and justify conquest two readings were engaged. One which allowed them to conquer the "savage" (that would mean non-White people), and one to pacify the "savage" (Always referring to people they were conquering). "Judge not," "love your enemy," and "Turn the cheek", was for the slave; "Eye for an Eye" was for the slave master. To expand their empires it was "saving souls" and to stop the new souls from fighting back it was "love your enemy."

If a white man comes to your door and tells you about the Kingdom of God and part of his solution is to sit still and have faith — do nothing to change the power balance or the inequity in the world, but accept the status quo and Africa's station in the bottom of every demographic. To accept slavery, apartheid, and colonialism, as one day God will come down and sort it all out. This is what is meant by "White man's religion" because it services White people's hegemony. The problem is not the Bible, or Christianity per se; the problem is who is reading it to you.

Christianity was adopted by Europeans — it was not created by them—but has become their chief religious agent in sculpting the World (replaced in our times with democracy). They made it their own by implanting their pre-Christian values and agendas onto a Middle Eastern faith—a non-White Jewish faith. This is a natural process as all people with agency seek to balance two things; absorb the benefits of new innovations (religious or otherwise), as well as maintaining their unique cultural identity and power centers. The problem for the African who received this Europeanized version of Christianity is while it worked to secure European interest, it did so at the expense of African interest.


Impact Beyond Religion

White Angel Black Devil The impact of European Christianity is profound, stretching beyond the boundaries of religion and influencing mainstrem Western values. A few concepts that it produced. (Please note these concepts only apply to the enslaved or controlled populous): 1. Don't Judge 2. Turn the Cheek 3. Be non-violent with oppression 4. Love your enemy. So embeded in the faith most think these are the theological core of the faith. But these sentiments do not even account for 1% of the Bible, what about the other 99%? These are not Biblical traditions. Of the 1000s of names in the Biblical tradition can one man, Paul and not Jesus, wipe out the entire sentiment of a faith?

Luckily Garvey, Nat Turner and Ethiopia were concerned with the other 99%. And the reason is the emphasis of the Bible is subjective. And it was carefully shaped in Western Europe to produce things like the beatitude (Latin: happy, fortunate, or blissful). These are Europeanized theological schools of thought, which have influenced the ideology of an entire faith (ideological globalization). So much so, that most cannot see Christianity outside of these Eurocentric boxes. To do so would mean studying Christianity of other nations, such as Ethiopia, which preserve a unique theology.


   
‎I believe in a religion that believes in freedom. Any time I have to accept a religion that won't let me fight a battle for my people, I say to hell with that religion
 
El Hajj Malik Shabazz


DANGER AND CORRUPTION

If the Bible says "Seek and Yeah shall find," "know the truth and the truth shall set you free ," why then are the pastor telling you only to listen exclusively to them? Why would they need to brainwash people with threats of hell fire or some spiritual calamity for consuming broader spiritual information? Why do most know more about the ideology of Christianity but yet cannot tie it to verses in the actual Bible? Are the pastors fearful of the Biblical messageto "Let the truth set you free?"

Church in parts of the African world (esp Nigeria, USA and South Africa) is almost a spiritual social club, and in some cases a day time rave; full of magic and circus tricks. It rarely conveys the deeper meaning of the Bible or the true teachings of Jesus. It is a power tool for priest to amass wealth and status by brainwashing unconscious victims looking for deliverance. It is never intended to create people who think for themselves, that challenge and resolve complex issues. It seems to replace that natural awareness, natural curiosity, with blind faith and narrow distorted understanding of reality. It always seems to close down the doors to intellectual development, logic and reason— creating functionites who just act and think in one way. Socialized into spiritual redundancy, ignorance, and at an impasse with mental development.

The error is not in the Bible or the Christian faith but in its exploitation. Christianity or any religion should develop the soul and the mind; it should inform and create consciousness. So if the only message is "have faith" and "In Jesus name" then that is not Christianity but a selective corruption which keeps the masses ignorant and impotent. Sitting down on your hands "faith" is not faith it is utter stupidity. While not a Biblical verse "God helps those who help themselves."


   
The Bible may be from God, but the interpretation is certainly from man
 
'Alik Shahadah


CHRISTIANITY & AFRICA


   
Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals
 
Martin Luther King

 
Ethiopia is home to the oldest Christian tradition in the world, as well as the oldest tradition of Islam outside of Saudi Arabia. Christianity was in Ethiopia (Abyssinia) long before there was an Anglican church, long before it was the state religion of Italy.
The adoption of Christianity in Ethiopia dates to the fourth-century reign of the Aksumite emperor Ezana. The kingdom was located along major international trade routes through the Red Sea between India and the Roman empire. Ethiopia was always part of the historical Biblical world, and had seen adherents to the Jewish doctrine. The legend of Queen Sheeba and her encounter with Solomon is legendary in this region.

Christianity, like Islam in West Africa was brought to Aksum via merchants. Ezana's decision to adopt Christianity helped solidify his trading relationship with the Roman Empire. Christianity afforded the possibility of unifying the many diverse ethnic and linguistic peoples of the Aksumite kingdom, a goal of Ezana's leadership. Again we see similarities between the political motives for the expansion of Islam in Africa. Aksum was one of the earliest states to develop a coin system in order to service its sophisticated and prosperous economy. Emperor Ezana was the first world leader to put the cross on coins that are the earliest examples of Christian material culture from Ethiopia.

The introduction of the ahistorical "White European" image of Jesus has done considerable damage to the African mind. Even in Ethiopia this image has been recently introduced by Europe and has been replacing traditional dark-skinned images of Jesus. Many, are now challenges this and returning the images of Jesus to an more realistic one of a man who comes from a hot climate.


AFRICAN CHRISTIAN HISTORY

Christianity a spiritual technology which codifies a way of life and dictates relationships between God, based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings.
Lalibella Adherents of the Christian faith are known as Christians. Most forms of Christianity teaches Jesus is the Son of God. This was agreed upon at the Council of Nicaea in 325 at the political command of Roman Emperor Constantine. Its main accomplishments were settlement of the Christological issue of the relationship of Jesus to God the Father; the construction of the first part of the Nicene Creed; settling the calculation of the date of Easter; and promulgation of early canon law. This turning point is not agreed upon by all Christian denominations and is the single greatest theological splinter with the other two Abrahamic faith (Islam and Judaism).

It is the trinity, deification of Christ and subsequent salvation in Christ, above all other factors, that separates Christianity from Judaism and Islam.

Jesus was a Jewish reformer so early Christianity began as a Jewish sect in the mid-1st century. However, the term Christian was no where in this period of history. Ignatius of Antioch was the first Christian to use the label in self-reference and made the earliest recorded use of the term Christianity (Greek Χριστιανισμός), around 100 AD. With advocates such as Paul (formerly Saul) it quickly grew in size and influence over a few decades, and by the 4th century had become the dominant religion within the Roman Empire. It is argued by some scholars that Christianity emerged as a distinct religion in a bid to separate itself from Judaism which was under Roman persecution. When The Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity following his victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312. Under his rule, Christianity rose to become the dominant religion in the Roman Empire, and the most popular religion in the world with over 2 billion adherents.

     
for at least the first three centuries of their common lives, Judaism in all of its forms and Christianity in all of its forms were part of one complex religious family, twins in a womb, contending with each other for identity and precedence, but sharing with each other the same spiritual food, as well  
 
 
Daniel Boyarin

During the Middle Ages, most of the remainder of Europe was Christianized, with Christians in North Africa and Ethiopia.

menelik

Another early example of Africans in Christianity comes in the form of Saint Maurice was the leader of the legendary Roman Theban Legion in the 3rd century, and one of the favorite and most widely venerated saints of that group. He was the patron saint of several professions, locales, and kingdoms. He is also a highly revered saint in the Coptic Orthodox Church.

With 6,666 of his African compatriots, St. Maurice had chosen martyrdom rather than deny his allegiance to his faith, thereby creating for the Christian world an image of the Church Militant that was as impressive numerically as it was colourwise.

 

The Africanized image of Maurice reached its apogee during the years 1490 to 1530. Images of the saint died out in the mid-sixteenth century, undermined by the developing African slave trade. Despite mass conversions of Africans to Christianity, Eurocentric Christianity did not want to reinforce any positive image of African inclusion in Christian history nor did they want to add nobility to African identity. The process of Christianity was to better control Africans not promote a sense of ownership in Christian history.


AFRICA'S OWN CHRISTIANITY

In order to brainwash Africans to the superiority of the European version of Christianity they first had to be brainwashed to the superiority of the European race and culture. In every instance when that notion of any form of superiority was void (Ethiopia), challenged or debunked, Africans, and others, have demonstrated agency and created their own orthodoxies taking elements in the name of self-interest. What we saw in most of Africa was a failure to get to grips with White supremacy, which got more problematic as Europe first demolished the walls of agency that protected African people. [2] They introduced a Christianity that was abstract from the realities of the world and African life. Faith without purpose, belief without understanding and meaning. Creating some of the most brainwashed and enslaved people who get caught in a cycle of perpetuating ignorance about self.


   
I don't have enough faith to be an atheist" It certainly takes a leap of faith to look at all of creation and believe it happened by accident
 
 

Ethiopia, and parts of North Africa, which created their own orthodoxies outside of the colonial template. In the rest of Africa orthodoxies have been formulated by Africans after the introduction via missionaries, reasons for doing so are: 1. Reject the politics of European domination and control. 2. To promote Christian values through an African aesthetic and world-view. 3. To assert agency and cultural identity aligned with the values of Christianity, without the Eurocentric cultural imposition.

  • Ethiopian Orthodox Church
  • Celestial Church of Christ. (Benin and West Africa)
  • Zionist Church [Shembe (Nazareth) (Southern Africa and Zimbabwe)
  • Aladura (Nigeria)

Africans have a duty to protect Africa's unique Christian Orthodoxies and reject Western variants of Christianity. See Missionaries


ETHIOPIAN CHRISTIANITY

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church Tewahedo  ( Amharicየኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተ ክርስቲያን). It is uniquely African as outlined below:

Biblical canon

The Tewahedo Church Canon contains 81 books. This canon contains the books accepted by other Orthodox Christians. The Narrower Canon also contains Enoch, Jubilees, and I II III Meqabyan. These last differ substantially from the Greek I, II, III Maccabees, and the canonical Enoch differs from the editions of the Ge'ez manuscripts in the British Museum and elsewhere (A-Q) used by foreign scholars (OTP), for example in treatment of the Nephilim of Genesis 6.

The current 81 book version was published in 1986, containing the same text as previously published in the Haile Selassie Version of the Bible, only with some minor modifications to the New Testament translation. The Broader Canon has never been fully published or scrutinized, but is said include all of the Narrower Canon, as well as two Books of the Covenant, four Books of Sinodos, an Epistle to Clement, and the Didascalia. These may not all bear close resemblance to works of these titles known in the west.

Oldest Illustrated Bible (330 C.E)


   
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself
 
Matthew 22:37-39

 

Lalibella Rock Church World's first illustrated Christian bible was recently discovered at Ethiopian monastery The world's earliest illustrated Christian book has been saved by a British charity which located it at a remote Ethiopian monastery. The incredible Garima Gospels are named after a monk who arrived in the African country in the fifth century and is said to have copied them out in just one day. Beautifully illustrated, the colours are still vivid and thanks to the Ethiopian Heritage Fund have been conserved. The incredible relic has been kept ever since in the Garima Monastery near Adwa in the north of the country, which is in the Tigray region at 7,000 feet.

Experts believe it is also the earliest example of book binding still attached to the original pages. It was written on goat skin in Ge'ez. There are two volumes which date from the same time, but the second is written in a different hand from the first. Both contain illustrations and the four Gospels. Carbon dating, however, gives a date between 330 and 650 - which tantalisingly overlaps the date Abba Garima arrived in the country.


LANGUAGE ( ግዕዝ )


The divine services of the Ethiopian Church are celebrated in the Ge'ez language, which has been the language of the Church at least since the arrival of the Nine Saints (Abba Pantelewon, Abba Gerima (Isaac, or Yeshaq), Abba Aftse, Abba Guba, Abba Alef, Abba Yem'ata, Abba Liqanos, and Abba Sehma), who fled persecution by the Byzantine Emperor after the Council of Chalcedon. The Septuagint Greek version was originally translated into Ge'ez, but later revisions show clear evidence of the use of Hebrew, Syriac, and Arabic sources. The first translation into a modern vernacular was done in the 19th century by a man who is usually known as Abu Rumi. Later, Haile Selassie sponsored Amharic translations of the Ge'ez Scriptures during his reign, one before World War II and one afterwards. Sermons today are usually delivered in the local language.


Architecture


There are many monolithic churches in Ethiopia, most famously the above-mentioned twelve churches at Lalibela. After these, two main types of architecture are found—one basilican, the other native. The Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion at Aksum is an example of the basilican design, though the early basilicas are nearly all in ruin. These examples show the influence of those architects who, in the 6th century, built the basilicas at Sanʻāʼ and elsewhere in the Arabian Peninsula. There are two forms of native churches: one oblong, traditionally found in Tigray; the other circular, traditionally found in Amhara and Shewa (though either style may be found elsewhere). In both forms, the sanctuary is square and stands clear in the center, and the arrangements are based on Jewish tradition. Walls and ceilings are adorned with frescoes. A courtyard, circular or rectangular, surrounds the body of the church. Modern Ethiopian churches may incorporate the basilican or native styles, and utilize contemporary construction techniques and materials. In rural areas, the church and outer court are often thatched, with mud-built walls.

The Chapel of the Tablet at the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion allegedly houses the original Ark of the Covenant.



Ark of the Covenant


The Ethiopian church claims that one of its churches, Our Lady Mary of Zion, is host to the original Ark of the Covenant that Moses carried with the Israelites during the Exodus. However, only one priest is allowed into the building where the Ark is located, ostensibly due to dangerous biblical warnings. As a result, international scholars doubt that the original Ark is truly there, although a case has been put forward by controversial popular writer Graham Hancock in his book The Sign and the Seal.

Throughout Ethiopia, Orthodox churches are not considered churches until the local bishop gives them a tabot, a replica of the tablets in the original Ark of the Covenant. The tabot is at least six inches (15 cm) square and made from alabaster, marble, or wood (see acacia). It is always kept in ornate coverings on the Altar. Only priests are allowed to touch the tabot. In an elaborate procession, the tabot is carried around the outside of the church amid joyful song and on the feast day of that particular church's namesake. On the great Feast of T'imk'et, known as Epiphany or Theophany in Europe; group of churches send their tabots to celebrate the occasion on a common location where a pool of water or a river is located.


Similarities to Judaism and Islam

The Ethiopian church places a heavier emphasis on Old Testament teachings than one might find in any of the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Protestant churches, and its followers adhere to certain practices that one finds in Orthodox or Conservative Judaism. Ethiopian Christians, like some other Eastern Christians, traditionally follow dietary rules that are similar to Jewish Kashrut, specifically with regard to how an animal is slaughtered.

Similarly, pork is prohibited, though unlike Rabbinical Kashrut, Ethiopian cuisine does mix dairy products with meat. Women are prohibited from entering the church during menses; they are also expected to cover their hair with a large scarf (or shash) while in church, per 1 Cor. 11. As with Orthodox synagogues, men and women are seated separately in the Ethiopian church, with men on the left and women on the right (when facing the altar). (Women covering their heads and separation of the sexes in churchhouses officially is common to some Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Christians, as well as many conservative Protestant and Anabaptist traditions; it also is the rule in some non-Christian religions, Islam and Orthodox Judaism among them.) Ethiopian Orthodox worshippers remove their shoes when entering a church, in accordance with Exodus 3:5 (in which Moses, while viewing the burning bush, is commanded to remove his shoes while standing on holy ground). Furthermore, both the Sabbath (Saturday), and the Lord's Day (Sunday) are observed as holy, although more emphasis, because of the Resurrection of Christ, is laid upon Sunday.

After Saluddin retook the Holy City in 1187, he expressly invited the Ethiopian monks to return and even exempted Ethiopian pilgrims from the pilgrim tax. His motivation for this kindness are unknown; perhaps he remembered the hijrah where Ethiopia sheltered the first Muslims.


CHRISTIANITY AND SLAVERY


   
To be obedient to them that are your masters, according to the flesh, in fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ
 
Bible

It is amazing the capacity for evil in people who wake up on Sunday and go to Church and sing high in the name of God. And the evils they do are not reflected on, or connected to the spiritual message they cling so dearly to and arrogantly force on others with moral superiority. Two worlds, one of religious purity and self-righteousness and the other of unspeakable evil to those chained by the yoke of slavery— yet the two worlds failed to reconcile.


   
Religion was not a garb put on for Sunday, and laid aside till Sunday returned again
 
Hariet Jacobs

Christianity, like Judaism and Islam does not outlaw domestic slavery; slavery was a feature of the time, which dealt with prisoners of war, debt, and criminals. It was integrated into the social fabric in which these three faiths were born into. In the case of Christianity, the numerous references to slavery do not facilitate racial Chattel Slavery. Both from time to time insist on the basic need for humanity within slavery. However both the Old and New Testament recognises and accepts the institution of slavery. The Jews are frequently reminded, in both the Bible and the Talmud, that they too were slaves in Egypt and should therefore treat their conquered people decently. Numerous Biblical references allude to equality :

Darfur TruthDid not He that made me in the womb make him [the slave]? And did not One fashion us both?" (Job 31:15). Darfur report

But slavery was a clear reality of the Biblical Judo-Christian societies.

Darfur TruthAs for your male and female slaves who may belong to you, you may buy male and female slaves from the nations all around you. Darfur report(25:44)
Darfur TruthAlso you may buy slaves from the children of the foreigners who reside with you, and from their families that are with you, whom they have fathered in your land, they may become your property. Darfur report(25:45)
Darfur TruthYou may give them as inheritance to your children after you to possess as property. You may enslave them perpetually. However, as for your brothers the Israelites, no man may rule over his brother harshly. Darfur report(25:46)

 

It is also clear that slavery is accepted in the New Testament as a fact of life. Some passages in the Pauline Epistles even endorse it. Thus in the Epistle to Philemon, a runaway slave is returned to his master; in Ephesians 6, the duty owed by a slave to his master is compared with the duty owed by a child to his parent:

Parents and masters are likewise enjoined to show consideration for their children and slaves. Thus it can be concluded, In Christianity, all humans, of the faith, are equal in the eyes of God and in the afterlife however this equality didn't extend to, and hence was not recognised before the secular laws of man. Those not of the faith, were in another, and in most respect an inferior group. In this respect, Greek perception of the barbarian "the other" and the Judeo-Christian-Islamic perception of the unbeliever coincide.

Jesus, though he repeatedly denounced sin as a kind of moral slavery, said not a word against slavery as a social institution." Now slavery was all around the world in which Jesus preached, there is no escaping this reality. He would have dealt with it on a daily basis yet did not see cause to renounce it in all of his messages. The writers of the New Testament did not oppose slavery either.( Cardinal Dulles, Avery. "Development or Reversal?".) Slaves were told that their suffering was similar to the suffering that Christ endured. Paul also puts forward that "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." The Epistle to Philemon has become an important text in regard to slavery, being used by pro-slavery advocates as well as by abolitionists. In the epistle, Paul writes that he is returning Onesimus, a fugitive slave, back to his master Philemon. Paul also entreats Philemon to regard Onesimus as a beloved brother in Christ. Cardinal Dulles points out that, "while discreetly suggesting that he manumit Onesimus, [Paul] does not say that Philemon is morally obliged to free Onesimus and any other slaves he may have had." According to tradition, Philemon did free Onesimus, and both were eventually recognized as saints by the Church. T. David Curp asserts that, "Given that the Church received Philemon as inspired Scripture, Paul's ambiguity effectively blocked the early Fathers of the Church from denouncing slavery outright." In the Epistle of Paul to Titus, Paul appears to support the servitude of slaves: "Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to talk back, not to pilfer, but to show complete and perfect fidelity, so that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior."


AFRICAN CHRISTIAN DILEMMA

One of the largest issues within African communities is the rise of Pentecostal multimillion dollar conglomerates. This is the only way to describe them because the operate more like a business than a religion. There is no humility and no value transferred. It is basically a day-time party or circus show. Nigeria's pastors run multi-million dollar businesses which rival that of oil tycoons.

In Nigeria Bishop Oyedepo was followed on the rich list by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of the Believers' Loveworld Ministries. He was worth between $30 and $50m.These pastors are flamboyant many of them have private jets and expensive cars. On the other end of the world Europe is producing gay priest and now atheist priest (who do not believe in God).

The introduction of the ahistorical "White European" image of Jesus has done considerable damage to the African mind. Even in Ethiopia this image has been recently introduced by Europe and has been replacing traditional dark-skinned images of Jesus. Many, are now challenges this and returning the images of Jesus to an more realistic one of a man who comes from a hot climitae.

These Nigerian preachers are just capitalist who exploit a natural human spiritual desire. And people do have this spritual need, and if it is not filed with a meaningful understanding of the creator, that void will be filled with these entertainers. Many of these so-called Churches in Nigeria and South Africa are Day time Clubs. [More soon]


MISSIONARIES

Churches are closing down all over Europe, some being turned into luxury houses. In Norway only 32% practise Christianity. Norway has one of the lowest church attendance in the world - Africa and South America the highest. Yet despite this, year after year, missionaries up and leave Norway and other parts of Europe and head to Africa to tell Africans about God.

Under the mask of "Saving African souls" colonialism took roots in Africa. The like of David Livingstone were the colonial fixers collecting intelligence and preparing the minds of Africans for final occupation. What stood in his way, in parts of Africa, was the Arab slave trade.

Two versions of the gospel of Christianity were taught, one for the purpose of "making slaves" and another version for "keeping slaves." Turn the cheek only applies to keep the enslaved African from uprising, the promise of heaven keeps the enslaved African content with his plight on Earth. None of these Biblical principles are at the heart of European expansion. [More Soon]


BIBLE AND POLYGAMY

See African Marriage

Very little in the Bible prohibits polygyny, and it is more an taboo is Western culture, but not in Christian teology as believed by many African Christians. The New Testament does not specifically address the morality of polygamy. (1 Timothy), however, states that certain Church leaders should have but one wife: "A ''bishop'' then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach" (chapter 3, verse 2; see also verse 12 regarding deacons having only one wife). Similar counsel is repeated in the first chapter of the Epistle of Titus; however, the redactor of 1 Corinthians (chapter 7, verse 2) writes, "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let ''every'' man have his own wife, and let ''every'' woman have her own husband." In modern times some Roman Catholic theologians have argued that polygamy, though not ideal, can be a legitimate form of Christian marriage in certain regions, in particular Africa.

 


CHRISTIANITY AS A TOOL OF EUROPEANS

One of the most destructive elements in the making of the slave-master paradigm was Eurocentric Christianity's depiction of God, and subsequently the divine ethnic social dynamic, which placed Whites as masters, Africans as Slaves. The blue-eyed blond-hair God cast an inferiority complex that would span every successive generation of African peoples. These images single-handedly upheld a system of subjugation and oppression: God is white as your master is white, obey God, and obey your master for you master is God. Mental enslavement served the physical enslavement as slaves were cast into the understanding that it was simply the way of the world-their lot in life. The malicious prevalence of Christianity was strategic with military precision, a gospel for undermining African culture and laying the way for colonial servitude. It pacified and eliminated the last notion of home from the displaced Africans.

Arabian Slavery
The rebellious and discontent emotions were appeased with the promise of heaven that would only come for a slave when they died after serving their master well. Without the implantation of Christianity the slave would have quickly become discontented and despair at the horrors around them. In time, those left in Africa and those in the New World thanked God for the White man who saved them from so-called paganism and delivered them into glory. Noble Afrikans names like Achebe, Ayesha and Askia were replaced with trite European names like Elizabeth, Charles and Johnny.

And so, in this was a mental trap that would span into the present-day. The act of Baptizing was not one of surrendering your soul to Christ but to the White man. Though many Afrikan converts to Christianity saw the vulgar contradictions between the Bible and the Europeans, without power there objections were rendered mute.

Interestingly, in Africa some rulers who became devote Christians labelled Christian Europeans as infidels as the Christian gospel and European actions were in such sever conflict. Some of us in this mental religious prison, constructed by our oppressors, gave absolute loyalty to our slave masters who become the parent, the representation of god on Earth. A divine being, though harsh, still represented our best interest. It was thus the ultimate goal of the Negro to emulate the habits, customs, and precepts of the European. The master's loves and hates became our loves and hates, his code of dress became our code of dress. The pale skin and straight hair became the standard of beauty and all means were taken to lighten dark skin and un-kink curly hair to look as massa looked. In this social chaos we became the cultural step children of Europe living and dying within a European defined framework.


CHRISTIANITY AND HOMOSEXUALITY

See Pan-African and Homosexuality

The homosexuals and lesbians have gained considerable political and social momentum in America.  They have "come out" as the term goes, left their closets, and are knocking on the doors of your homes.  Through TV, Radio, Newspapers, and Magazines, they are preaching their doctrine of tolerance, equality, justice, and love.  They do not want to be perceived as abnormal or dangerous.  They want acceptance and they want you to welcome them with open, loving arms, approving of what they do.

In numerous states in America several bills have been introduced by the pro homosexual politicians to ensure that the practice of homosexuality is a right  protected by law.  Included in these bills are statements affecting employers, renters, and schools.  Churches could possibly be required to hire a quota of  homosexuals, and "sensitivity" training courses would be "strongly urged" in various work places.  There is even legislation that would force the state to pick up the tab for the defense of homosexual agendas in lawsuits while requiring the non homosexual side to pay out of his/her pocket.  Is this fair?  Of course not.  But fairness isn't the real issue here.  It is social engineering.  Think about it, the homosexual community wants legal protection for having intercourse with the people of the same sex.  And, if that weren't enough, it wants its views taught in schools, promoted over the airwaves, and codified in literature.

Unlike other sins, this sexual sin has a judgment administered by God Himself: He gives them over to their passions (Rom. 1:26-28). This means that their hearts are allowed to be hardened by their sins. As a result, they can no longer see the error of what they are doing. Without an awareness of their sinfulness, there will be no repentance. Without repentance, there will be no forgiveness. Without forgiveness, there is no salvation.

Homosexuality is a sin in all the Abrahamic faiths; there is no escaping this fact. No volume of Hollywood pressure or token pro-Gay priest can change the canon of Christianity. Homosexuality is therefore disallowed and incompatible with the faith, like any sin, and those who engage in it should seek repentance, according to scripture. The sin of homosexuality is in multi-catagories, sex outside marriage and more over the immorality of the homosexual sex. People can be Christian and gay, but to legalize it is where the problem lies. The Church does not advocate violence to people for their sexual orientation, but it also does not promote this sin. The accusation of "hate crimes" is a straw man argument that carries no water, as it is not an issue of hate but an issue of principle disagreement on religious grounds.

Anyone who disagrees with the pro-Gay rhetoric is labelled backward, primitive, stone age and narrow-minded. So name calling is the new intellectual response to disagreement. So much for plurality and freedom of thought. Any interpretation of Biblical scripture which makes homosexuality undesirable is now called a narrow interpretation.

There is no African cultured church that accepts Homosexuality as normal. There are Africans bought and paid for that support all kinds of things (e.g, Desmond Tutu) but this does not change the African church's position on the issue from Nigeria to Ethiopia.


   
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed
 
Genesis 2:24-25

A lot of work has gone into re-writing the Bible to suit the fashion of the day. We live in an age where the loudest voice in media gets the first and last word. That voice becomes the standard, confusing the majority. Saying a wrong thing 1 million times and printing it on every magazine will not make a lie become the truth, regardless of how many times that lie is repeated. Those Christians who fail to convert their beliefs to the new trend are lablled; old fashion (at best), bigots, homophobic, and backward. While these insults can be thrown liberally at Christians and Muslims, Muslims and Christians are severally punished if they call homosexuality dirty and anti-human.

Words such as "modern", "we live in different times." have been introduced to thwart obvious moral traditions. But God is forever, and his word is forever - This is a Christian belief. God created one model of human from Adam. So humanity is still God's creation subject to the laws of God. If you believe that the Bible has an expiry date on the back and God's teachings have a sell-by-date then throw the entire religion out. Regardless of if we take a literal meaning to the Bible we know that immoral sexual acts are nothing new, the text of Sodom and Gomorrah speak to this and sole purpose is to warn humanity. The pro-homosexual revisionist argues that the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah was that the residents wanted to commit an act of rape. That the rape would have been homosexual is not an issue, according to their argument. However, Jude 7 indicates that Sodom and Gomorrah's punishment was due to their sexual perversion. Their sin was not simply one of violence (rape) but of sexual immorality (homosexuality). As further evidence of the sinful nature of homosexuality, Leviticus 18:22, and 20:13 both describe homosexuality as "an abomination."

2 Timothy is the rebuttal to all those who challenge solid Biblical ethics.


   
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear
 
2 Timothy 4:3

DEALING WITH HOMOSEXUALITY

Just because someone is gay it does not mean that the entire person is discarding from society, they may by gay but good people; helping the sick, feeding the poor, being honest people. The critical thing is not to collapse homosexuality into an identity or immoral sub-culture; as it clearly is in the Western world. Regardless of if people are born that way or socially engineered that way, homosexuality like any other sociable undesirable trait must be treated as such. Some people are alcoholics, some people have an insatiable desire to cheat on their wives. These desires are no different to the desires of a homosexual person. And just because someone has desires to cheat doesn't mean they should not resist, justifying it and promoting it would be a greater crime. Like any temptation some people will seek to re-write anything to accommodate and justify their desires, may it be stealing land or committing homosexual acts, or cheating on their wives. The mass media has done a good job of obstructing the natural distain by suggesting to people into believing if you are gay it is okay, if you want to drink yourself to death, it is okay. If you want to use abortion as a birth control - it is a woman' right. However in the heat of a woman post-abortion she feels an inhumanity which no anti-life group can treat, because her actions speak to something spiritual which is not accounted for or valued in the neo-liberal societies of the Western world. None the less you can mask your shame, but it doesn't make it less shameful. People who find themselves homosexual must therefore avoid at all cost accepting it as okay. There is nothing okay about it, regardless if you do it or plan not to do it. Every human has challenges to overcome and most of us will fail, a failure to control unnatural desires is a human failure which needs reflection.

Is it possible to be a gay Christian? If the phrase "gay Christian" refers to a person who struggles against homosexual desires and temptations – yes, a "gay Christian" is possible. However, the description "gay Christian" is not accurate for such a person, since he/she does not desire to be gay, and is struggling against the temptations. Such a person is not a "gay Christian," but rather is simply a struggling Christian, just as there are Christians who struggle with fornication, lying, and stealing. If the phrase "gay Christian" refers to a person who actively, perpetually, and unrepentantly lives a homosexual lifestyle – no, it is not possible for such a person to truly be a Christian.[2]



   
Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it political? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right
 
ML King, Jr.

RELIGION AND AFRICA

 
   
Superstition and witchcraft still hold many of our people in a cycle of fear and wasted time and resources. It contributes to a huge waste of money and effort and abuse by the people who purport themselves to have the powers to help others to attain their wicked goals or the powers to fend off spiritual attacks by the wicked
 
   

 

Regardless of what is published, all great nations achieve greatness by solidifying polities and empires around spiritual or political uniformity: Kemet did it, Songhai did it, and Aksum did it. Therefore, religious or ideological conformity has been at the backbone of greater human conglomerations.

And even in Rome with its many gods and plural religious ideology there was political uniformity on the notion of “being Roman. “As is the case with the Pax-American national identity and culture of diverse groups of immigrants. The God concept does not survive long outside of the bottle of religion; religion is an institutionalized set of rituals which securely pass on the God concept from generation to generation. The paradigm shift demands a new center of gravity in revisiting these facts as they are inseparable from human sociological development.

Many of the philosophies manifesting in the Diaspora are claiming Africa origins but are inefficient at navigating the moral corridors of life.  While there are academic ring-tones and sound bites, they fail to have systems, which address the human spiritual thirst. Their subjects are left wanting; floating spiritually disconnected to be ultimately annexed in the worst expressions of Eurocentric conduct or the primitive world of spookism.

It might not be right, but one thing we need to swallow is that all "advances" and "Civilization" is the product of imperialism. Take a look at Ethiopian history. Kmt in her brutal conquest of Nubia, and Nubia's conquest of Kemet? If our primary issue is with imperialism, then the only thing to celebrate is hunter-gatherer societies. There is a profit from imperialism which every society of technological sophistication has inherited, and we must deal with this.


SPEAK THE ETHICS OF THE FAITH

Let us begin with de-focusing the labels (names which religions go by). Why not have a debate around values? The question of what are the components within any given religion that foster development for African people. Islam is just a name for a collection of values which constitute the religion of Islam and govern adherents to that faith. It is almost immature to have a debate about cultural displacement in Africa with the rise of Islam if you do not identify the core value changes of each given society. Because the minute the debate switches to value formations which grow out of the ideology of Islam we find the entire discourse changes. Because are we saying given alms to the poor, was alien to Africa? Are we saying an egalitarian society is harmful to Africa? Circumcision, animal sacrifice? This needs to be the new platform for debate because once we identify values then we quickly realize the names are immaterial in unifying the continent.  As Karenga said we need to discuss the ethics of the religion and then we will see we all are generally on the same page.

If our objective is at we state, Pan-African unity, how are we going to get there? How will we get if we are divided along the color line? How will we get there by letting borders divide us? And how will we get there by letting religion divide us? Those using religion to cause tension, or those using religion as a tension are one in the same. How can it be Pan-African if it is not tolerant of ethnic, religious, color, national differences among African people?

 
   
Religion is a bottle with a label on it, spirituality is the thing inside. Religion is the culture of spirituality, the container which gives it structure.
 
' Alik Shahadah

Constantly poking at Islam and Christianity does not to solve any inherent problem within those systems. If 90% of the people you are trying to unite belong to those faiths then agitation will only be met with resistance. The options are leave the topic alone or seek to Africanize these faiths, the same way Europeans Europeanized Christianity in the form of the Roman Catholic Church or how the Chinese converted Indian Buddha into a Chinese cultural treasure. Islam is the fastest growing religion in Africa and is virtually immune to the taunts of the all-powerful USA, so what about the less than 0.001% of self-branded Afrocentrics? The basic political intelligence tells us unity does not require uniformity and all those seeking to divide are nothing but false prophets lusting for their own shortsighted egos. At best, they sell more books by appealing to the intellectual fast-food junkies looking to feed hatred by attacking easy targets. But ask what is the solution? No real remedy except to place people in a spiritual wasteland.

With Islam Malcolm X became one of Pan-Africa’s greatest heroes. And with Christianity Garvey created the floor on which we all stand. With Islam, the libraries of Timbuktu were built preserving the histories of Africa. And with Christianity the greatest East African Kingdom of Aksum forged its way and annexed Southern Arabia. With a Middle Eastern religion, Europe went onto conquer the world, at what point in their history did they stop and cast out these religions lamenting the gods of old? At what stage in the greatness of China, past and present did Buddhism interrupt their glory? So why is Africa the only continent that cannot take thecvfse spiritual technologies and make them serve her interest?

There is not one major indigenous African faith that had an issue with slavery, not one African native religion had principles that denounced slavery. Therefore, the challenge which is posed to Islam and Christianity for having a tolerance for slavery is also true for the religions native to Africa. If these mainstream religions are mentally enslaving people why is there the same problems existing in countries that do not have the influence of these faiths? Does Benin have some superiority claim over Ethiopia? But if their argument is correct then we should see this. We should see more agency in Benin than in Islamic-Christian Ethiopia. Because if these religions as separate elements are enslaving people then how do you explain Ethiopia. In treating a prostate cancer it is usually a good idea not to cut out the bladder and leave the prostate. Mis- identifying religion is a waste of time; it is only convenient for people who do not want to waddle through the complexities of the African problem.

Now Islam did destroy some good aspects of West African culture but how do we weights this from the comfort of our current location in time? One might as well say anything that changes is destruction; The script destroyed oral tradition, the car destroyed the donkey, the cd destroyed the record, and the turntable destroyed the musical instrument.  Islam has been used to impose Arab culture, but this is because Africa was lacking agency. Turkey held its own, so why don't we? And yes Christianity was the excuse used to drive a trade in Black skin. It was also the vector for mental slavery. None of this is in denial. No where in history do cultures stay static in a world in motion, change is part of the cycle of life. And just as in life, after the fire the rains come and bring life. The challenge is realistically salvaging from the ashes of history a clean place to start from.

In the northern parts of West Africa, human sacrifice had become rare as Islam became more established in these areas such as the Hausa States. There was a rise in general justice, education, nation building, health, etc. We must be careful judging good and bad with our modern eyes because we take for granted many moral norms were absent in the historical record. For example we all know you don't kill a man and take his wife, or steal someones's car if it is unattended. But in antiquity this would not have been considered a problem. The Afar of Ethiopia have no problem with any of the above, so clearly this African habit which is not unique to the Afar is a problem in modernity. Because our first location is truth, which harmonizes our lives verse leaves us at risk. In Islam there is a tradition of justice, in some ancient African systems in the belly of the Sudan if the rains do not come they killed the king. In other victims had to be ritually sacrificed to feed the lust of gods. Now these are some extreme examples but we must be realistic when we understand that the world we recognize as civil has a lot to do with the morals, which come from Islam and Christianity. And to finalize the most critical point both Islam and Christianity as well as Judaism are philosophical children of Ancient Kemet, an African civilizations. Now Kemet spiritual systems are physically dead and it is neither practical or wise to reprise them from the dust of the Nile Valley. What we do have in front of us is a continent which is either Christian or Islamic. Which path makes more sense to fix the dilemma of Africa? Convert everyone or Africanize these faiths?

If someone's religion informs their lives to be righteous, care for the sick, to feed the poor and stand up against oppression and inequity, to speak truth in the face of lies, to seek social advancement, to feel guilt when in error, to be critical of self, to have honor in the face of challenges, to treat others with respect and dignity, to be equitable in business, to be fair in all dealings and to do the work necessary for progressive advancement of humanity; then that is a good religion. It makes no difference what you call that religion or where it comes from if it does not function in cultivating a better human being.

 

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