At the risk of offending many, I have much to say about the negative effects of Christianity, but religion in particular, especially in Africa, and on us, Africans — but also, wherever Christianity has made landfall.
I know what many will say, this coming from a Bishop’s son. It is for this very reason I am compelled to make my private feelings public.
Much has been taken for granted. We have been cowed into submission, without really questioning the basis of Christianity as it was introduced to Africa. It never occurred to us that wherever colonialism went, so did Christianity, hand in hand.
In the words of Chief Crazy Horse, the famous Native American Chief: “They told us to close our eyes and recite the Lord’s Prayer, and when we opened them, our Land was gone.”
Wherever religion has spread, there has never been neither peace nor tranquility. Throughout the ages, many wars and battles were fought in the name of religion. And millions perished.
The Bible itself is full of nothing but punishment and damnation. Holy images always in white. The devil in black. What is the message there?
Has anybody ever wondered about the implications of christianizing Africa? It assumed that if we had never been colonized and christianized, we were headed for hell. An offensive and patronizing proposition.
Africans are by nature believers. We had our own beliefs that need not have been put down, demonized, degraded by our colonizers. The Prophet from Palestine had nothing over us. We sure did not have to assume so-called christian names. You strip a people of their identity ONLY to control them.
Apartheid in South Africa found its moral force in the Dutch Reformed Church. Look at the carnage and mayhem in Northern Ireland. Israelis and Palestinians are butchering each other daily in the name of religion over an alleged “promised land.” The Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 was orchestrated for the most part by the churches, not to mention the deafening silence of the Vatican about the role of its priests in the atrocities.
Tell me I am wrong to raise these questions.