Saturday, May 12, 2012

"Having killed and buried African traditional religions ..."

In 1998 Rev. Dr. Timothy M. Njoya published an article titled The Church as a Global Society. In the article Njoya, a minister of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (now retired), stated very bluntly that "Africa became Christian by submission, not by conversion," and he makes it clear in the article that by "submission" he is referring directly to the enslavement and colonial conquest of Africans by European Christians.

It is important to note that not only is Njoya a Christian minister, but, unlike many of his fellow African Christians, Njoya's attitude toward African Traditional Religion is uncompromisingly hostile. He has no interest in projects such as so-called indigenization or Africanization. He does not regret the Christianization of Africa, much less the extirpation of Africa's pre-Christian religious traditions, regardless of his qualms over the details of how these were accomplished. In fact he goes so far as to say, "Having killed and buried African traditional religions, Christianity should have gone to celebrate and left the task of exhuming them to archeologists."

So here we have an honest and well-informed Christian! It pains him to admit that the only reason he is a Christian is because his great-grandparents were conquered by Europeans. But still he has the honesty to admit it. And he shows no interest in trying to sugarcoat the intolerance of missionaries toward "Heathen" religions, and why should he, since he himself proudly shares that intolerance.