On the 29 March we held our 1st Thokoza dlozi seminar at Catalinar theathre. Here is the presentation paper presented by one of the speakers at the seminar, Madoda Mditshwa...
Christian Religion and Africans in South Africa: Facts and Consequences by Madoda Wilson Mzimkhulu Mditshwa
Good morning my brothers and sisters, it is an honour for me to be given this opportunity to share with you my knowledge on this sensitive and troubling topic about the impact of Christianity on us as Africans. This is a topic that most people would prefer to avoid for fear of being castigated and ridiculed as non-believers, pagan, devil worshipers or Satanist. Well I am not afraid because my our ancestors have already taken all this insult on our behalf for thousands of years yet they still keep on encouraging us not to forsake our spirituality and true identify in the midst of an onslaught, an onslaught which is no longer perpetuated by the white man, but by our own brothers and sisters in the name of their newly found Jesus – their new God ancestor.
We must never forget that our people - our ancestors, didn’t just accept Christianity because they thought it was a great religion; rather they were forced, coerced, indoctrinated and tricked to accept this religion if they were to be regarded as civilised and be able to benefit from that white man’s civilisation. exp
Hence after the conversion (UKUGUQULWA) of some Africans who received Christian missionary education, a distinction was made between the Christianised Africans (amagqobhoka) and the non-Christianised ones (Amaqaba). Exp -
This is still the case, only now we are called non-believers if we don’t want to follow their Jesus.
With that short background, let me share with you some facts about this foreign religion that has done so much damage in African society and resulted to the kind of people that we are today – a people who is confused and lack self respect when it comes to a sense of spiritual being. No wonder we now have reported cases of humiliating behaviour such as the one that took place right here in KZN, where grown – up, matured woman and man, unquestioningly followed the instructions of their Pastor to go down on their knees and eat grass just like animals, all in the name of Christian healing. If this does not show us how much we are lost, than nothing else will.
Facts about Christian Religion
Why is it important that I tell you about these facts about Christian Religion in Africa? Mainly it’s because I cannot sit back and do nothing when I know my people are being misled and lied to about the true nature and foundation of this religion. I believe that if African people knew what was being sold to them, was a belief system that is based on the worshiping of cosmological features and other nation’s ancestors; they would have rejected it outright. (Sun-day) exp
Christianity was first introduced to the African continent by the Roman occupiers of Kemet (Egypt) under the leadership of Emperor Theodosius in 391 AD. “Christian Emperor Theodosius banned all ancient religious systems of Egypt and ordered the closing of all Egyptian temples.
Christianity has always worked with the oppressors of African people. Every country that was invaded by whites have three things in common; 1. Its traditional leaders were killed, humiliated and imprisoned. 2. Its land taken/stolen from its owners by violent means. 3. Its people converted to Christianity and given the Bible. We as South Africans, have firsthand experience of these events. What kind of God allows this kind of cruelty to happen to His own creation? Or the Christian God is there only looks after the interests of white people? Slavery took place over 300 years,(over 10 million Africans suffered the greatest injustice ever committed by a human being on another) where was the Christian God to save us from the Arab and White oppressors? Coincidentally both these religions together with Judaism are regarded as the Abrahamic faiths because they draw from the same founder - Abraham.
If we look at the Christian Bible, In terms of content (not interpretation) it focuses on three main issues,
1. The Old Testament is about the history of the Hebrews (Jews) in Africa (Egypt) and their journey to the “promised land” – that they call the Exodus led by their leader Moses. The Jews call this book the Torah and it’s their Holy religious book not the Bible.
The New Testament is about the story of Jesus the Christ and the Romans political manipulation to nullify all other existing indigenous religions through politically motivated doctrines and laws designed for social control.
Stolen and distorted Egyptian mythology, (The miracle virgin birth of Jesus (is a direct copy of Miracle virgin birth of Egyptian Sun God ‘Horus’ 15 centuries before Christianity) also the Ten commandments which were stolen from the 42 laws called the Declarations of Innocence or Admonitions of Maat. The trinity concept is even more telling because in Ancient Egyptian mythology, trinity meant Ausar – the Father, Aset- the Mother and Horus- the Son. The founders of Christianity stole this concept and distorted it to mean God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Ghost, effectively removing the crucial role of mother figure in creation. These myths are incorporated into Christian doctrines.
The Council of Nicaea in Turkey in 325 AD was about the finalisation and agreement on these reconfigured Egyptian religious concepts, doctrines and laws to produce the new religion - Christianity. This new religion was officially made state religion by Emperor Constantine in 333 AD and he instructed that all conquered nations must be forced to accept Christianity and host the cross (crucifix) as a symbol of conquest.
Consequences of Christianity on Africans
My main aim here is to present to you the impact of Christianity on Africans so that we as Africans can have a clear understanding of our situation in order to find pragmatic solutions to remedy our state of spiritual being. If we think we can resolve many of our spiritual and socio-economic problems without understanding the underlying reasons for our present condition, we might as well accept defeat.
Introduction of Christianity in African society negatively affected us in three ways; Socially, Psychologically and Economically.
The destruction of social order, value system, marriage institution the relationship between individuals in society. exp
“Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” (Mark 7:13)
The spiritual void creates mental and emotional instability and other psychological related abnormalities. Who are we talking to if we are not talking to our ancestors, a channel of communication given to us by the Creator to communicate with Him/her?
Our understanding of death as opposed to what Christianity tells us.
“…the literal and ignorant acceptance of the Judeo-Christian sacred text, what they call the “Bible”, as absolute and it is now forced to be used as a point of departure in all South African affairs. By so doing African participants are manoeuvred to move from the unknown (Jewish history) to the known (African way of life) and that approach result into mental disorder which is called a ‘Spiritual Displacement Mental Psychosis (SDMP) differing in the levels of contamination.”
Christianity is a learnt foreign religion that can be unlearnt at any time.
One of the reasons African people continue to suffer today is because they still worship the “God” that was assigned to them by their former slave masters and conquerors. Christianity went hand in hand with the colonial disposition of Africans from their lands. ‘Here we had religion and robbery the allies of each other’ In this relationship Christianity is seen as a partner that provides loyal, obedient and civilised labour force that is willing to work for a wage.
When Africans were converted into Christianity, they had to get rid of their traditional dresses and dress in European cloths. This meant they had to find money to sustain this new way of life, where do you think they will find money if their economic system was never based on the monetary system (paper or coins) but on real product exchange
The culture of consumerism we see today was long planted by our colonisers in the 1800’s. The replacement of African way of life by European lifestyle creates a demand for western goods; hence we are still consumers of everything made in the West and the East of late. It’s not our dress codes, food, technologies, that is in demand, it’s that of the western civilisations. We have been reduced to just a nation of consumers with no appetite to invent or manufacture anything
Over 400 years of Christianity has done nothing substantial for the development and advancement of the Africans. For centuries our people’s energy were used to serve the white man interest and worshiping his “God”. Till today our people are still spending valuable time worshiping the white man’s “God” instead of using all those valuable hours and resources to develop themselves. Are we so hopeless that we think that only “God” will extricate us from this state of desperation?
It is scary to know that the very foundation of our society is based on lies and deceit that are perpetuated by religious institutions led by Christianity. The moment you open your eyes you will see a religious institution that preys on human fear of the unknown, desire to escape the socio- economic hardship created by the system and desire for hope which they readily sell to people. You see, the psychology of Christianity is that once you are consumed by it, it becomes very difficult to separate between truth and deceit, especially for those with spiritual void or are under the hammer of the cruel capitalistic system, who happens to be both black and the poor in South Africa.
What I have observed in the black community is that Christianity has become the opium to dampen the pains of life just like drugs are to a drug addict. Basically Christianity and other organised religions provide intangible emotional solace for those at the receiving end of men’s created distorted social order. The fact that drugs make a drug addict to feel good during a fix, does not make the drug good. The false feeling of hope that Christianity creates, does not absolve it from the massive destruction it is causing to our way of life and value system (Ubuntu) that is supposed to be the glue to hold our communities together.
Christianity causes our people to ignore all the negative damage it caused on its arrival which our forefathers tried to repel from our lands but were defeated. Look where we are now, social and moral decay is at its peak in a country that is claimed to be more than 80% Christian.
You then ask yourself what is the purpose of this religion if moral decay is in the increase in a country that it claims to be in overwhelming majority? Obviously the pleasure of hope it creates is the only form of escapism from the social ills and personal hardships created by the white man’s social order. Just like the negative effects of drugs to the drug addict, the pleasure created by the fix of hope becomes an irresistible feel good state of mind.
So why am I telling you all this? Well firstly let me be clear that my target audience is my African brothers and sisters and those who seek the truth about this faith that is being forced on them. To my Africans I am saying to you, come back home; your original understanding of creation and the Creator has more substance than what you have been sold in the form of Christianity and Islam or any other foreign religion. Christianity has nothing that African way of life does not already have and more, the Bible has nothing extraordinary to offer than what we already know about the existence of the Supreme Being (uMvelinqangi or uQamata) , peaceful living with fellow human beings and good moral values. To me Christianity and its Bible is nothing but a bad reminder of how our resources and intellectual wealth were plundered in the name of”God”.
List of References
Browder. A.T, Nile Valley Contribution to Civilisation,194)
BBC, ‘What the world thinks of God’, Survey February 2004, www.bbc.co.uk
Holy Bible, King James Version 1 Corinthians 15:14
Dr N.Mndende, (2010:02)
Baird. Vanessa. “In the name of God” an article on New Internationalist magazine of August 2004, pp9
Holy Bible, King James Version, Exodus 15:3
Blue Books on Native Affairs 1880: Special Project: Missionary Settlement in Southern Africa 1800–1925”