Is christianity a white man's religion?

Recently, a new and growing wave of Pan African consciousness and nationalism, colloquially termed as ‘Woke Africanism’ is beginning to emerge in discussions concerning the history, religious and cultural aspects of Africans. They seek to abhor everything foreign whiles pushing the course of what is indigenously African, from our history to our religious systems, thus blaming all the ill we face on others.
The claim often repeated by the adherents of this new way of thinking, particularly concerning religion is the claim that the two major religious faith practiced in Africa, Christianity and Islam are foreign religions and thus must be booted out. Essentially, the critics find it convenient to allege that;

  1. Christianity is a white man’s religion which was used to perpetrate slavery of the indigenous people.
  2. The Bible is a book used to brainwash Africans , taking away the African culture practices, traditions and tagged them as idolatry whiles instituting white man’s religion as the legit religion .

How are we to defend the Christian faith in situation like this?

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Hi @David_Quophi,
That is a very pertinent question for these times. As a person from India I see this sentiment rising here as well - a nationalism that considers certain religions as legitimate and others as foreign. This is a deeply sentimental issue and needs to be handled with much prayer and discernment; there are no easy answers. I will try and respond concerning your questions.

I think we need to be clear that the way of Christ or Christianity is a way of truth. It is not merely a religion like others. And truth has no colour - it is not a white or black or yellow or brown man’s religion.
Unfortunately, history shows that many have misused and abused Christianity and used it for empire building - and that is not just in Africa but also in Asia and other regions. It is therefore understandable that there is a push-back against the ‘white-man’s’ religion. Even in India, there is such a sentiment, even though the reality is that the Christian religion was nothing more than cultural practice for the colonizers and they were in fact going against the core teachings of Christ. But because Christianity and churches were identified as belonging to the oppressors, it became automatically associated with their oppression as well.

In this regard, I like a statement that Ravi Zacharias once said, "You cannot judge a philosophy by its abuse, but rather by the logical consequences of what it actually teaches."

The fundamental teaching of Christ was to love God and love one another - not slavery or colonization. We need to be clear and insistent on this truth.

Also Jesus was not a ‘white man’ but rather a middle-eastern person - this may be helpful in an Asian setting, not so much in Africa.

This is a truth in every part of the world - not just in Africa. Right from Jerusalem and the surrounding regions in the book of Acts to all over the world, the entry of the truth about God and His Son Jesus Christ has always resulted in outrage and opposition because it challenges long-held beliefs and practices. This was true in Paul and Barnabas’ time, it is true today. Perhaps this is why Jesus said,
Matthew 10:34 - “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Idolatry, witchcraft and false philosophies have been challenged and overturned in the light of the gospel of Christ. This has led to churning but has changed lives forever by the millions; in many cases, it was this very conflict that led to a change. On our part, we can only ensure that we respectfully present the truth about Christ and pray that He will bring about change. Conflict and opposition cannot be fully avoided, even Jesus faced it and told us to expect it.

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Hi David! @David_Quophi

I think your question is really important because we are called to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Once I was talking with Stuart McAllister, and he told me that this phenomenon is not exclusive to one country or region. He saw it in Greece, in India, and also here in my home country Peru. We have to have in mind that this happens because people want to go back to some “original” condition or some “pure” state, but all of this is only a reflection of what our heart long for: an old memory of our very original condition in Eden, in peace with God.

Having said that, here are some fast facts that maybe can help you to bring down those arguments: (1) Jesus (the very author of our faith) was not a white man, He was a Palestinian Jew from the 1st century. (2) Saint Augustine was African! He was born in the zone we know as Algeria and served there (He is known as the most relevant theologian of the West). (3) Saint Athanasius was also an African from a Coptic ethnic group (He was one of the most prominent theologians that defended the true faith after the Nicene Council). There are many useful things we can learn from History!

Here you can find more about these facts I gave you:


(Maybe you will find useful these lectures: “The Council of Nicaea” and “Augustin and the City of God”. But I recommend you to listen everyone!)

I hope this could help you brother!
Best regards from Latin America :smile:
Renzo

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Thank you very much brother, God bless you

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