What religion(s) are authentically African?
We frequently see websites where people seem offended that someone has mentioned the Christian Scriptures. The frequent lament goes something like this: "Am I a Hebrew?" "Is Corinthians written to me?" Many Africans have adopted the unfortunate and erroneus concept that they should reject Christianity because it is "somebody else's" religion, a "European" or "white American" faith. But what is the truth about Africa and Christianity?
Africa was one of the early homes of the Christian faith. Europe did not begin to seriously become Christian until the 6th century A.D., but Northen Africa was a major force in the Christian faith by at least 300 A.D.--two centuries earlier than Europe. Although there were non-Jews in Jesus' genealogy, there were no Europeans. Jesus had not a drop of European blood in His veins.
Apart from the interaction of Africa with Biblical peoples in the Old Testament, which is very considerable, Africa is also specifically mentioned in the New Testament. Africa welcomed Jesus and his family in his infancy. In fact, Egypt was God's choice of a country for the safekeeping of His newborn Son while the wicked King Herod sought to kill him (Matthew 2:14).
Jesus called fishermen as His first disciples, an occupation common today in many African countries (Matthew 4:18-22).
After Jesus' resurrection & ascension, on the Day of Pentecost which is usually called the "birthday of the church" the Gospel was proclaimed to Egyptians and Libyans, and their African languages, whatever they might have been, were amongst those miraculously given to the disciples as they preached that day. It is very likely that Africans were amongst the three thousand people who believed in Jesus and were baptized that day. (Acts 2:10, 2:41).
When Stephen, the first martyr, gave his last sermon, he recounted God's dealings with His people in the land of Egypt (Acts chapter 7).
Before Paul's first European convert was made, God specifically called Philip to preach to a seeking Ethiopian, a servant from the royal court (Acts chapter 8). The Ethiopian was converted and baptized that day, and returned to his own country rejoicing, and most likely, sharing his new-found treasure.
The early Christian historian Eusebius recounts that Mark took the Gospel to Egypt and estblished several substantial churches in Alexandria, while Matthew was sent by the Lord as a missionary to Ethiopia. By 300 A.D., Eusebius says there were ascetic Christians in all the districts of Egypt. By that date also great Christian centers of learning had been established both at Alexandria and at Carthage, both in North Africa. Carthage was the home of such great early Christian scholars and leaders as Tertullian and Cyprian. Alexandria was home to the famed Bible school and both places produced a substantial body of Christian literature that was read and valued not only in Africa, but throughout the known world. All this took place two centuries before Europe began to welcome Christianity, and three centuries before Islam became a dominant force in Africa.
Africans had always known there was a Creator God, and at this early date, it was easy and natural for them to welcome the fuller revelation of Him that they found in Christianity.
Later Europe tried hard to catch up with Africa's welcoming of God's Son, but even today, they have a ways to go. Christianity, then, is really more African than it is European.
NEVER be ashamed to consider Christianity! From the beginning Africa has welcomed God's Son, so why should you not do so now?
Are you frustrated with the sacrifices of the juju priest? He is always demanding more, yet when is the problem really solved? One priest told us that once a sin is committed it must be atoned for until the end of time! Over and over and over one must continue to offer sacrifices, yet knowing that the sin can never be fully atoned for by even the most costly sacrifices. Talk about frustration!
Inside an idol shrine--endless sacrifices, but NEVER ENOUGH!
Are you tired of reading about juju priests stealing children for human sacrifices, killing albinos to harvest body parts for magic, aiding human traffickers by putting the victims through terrifying rituals so that they will never reveal their captors?
If you are satisfied with sacrifices that don't atone and with priests that constantly get involved in all kinds of evil, you aren't ready to turn to Christ. BUT if you are sick and tired of those things, there is good news for you.
Jesus Christ paid the full and complete and perfect sacrifice for ALL our sins when He gave His own life for us on the cross. When He died, He said, "It is finished." Many things happened to show that something momentous was happening. Darkness suddenly covered the earth at midday. The earth shook. Stones broke in two. In the Temple, the heavy curtain that kept the people from entering God's presence was torn in two, from the top where no man could reach, to the bottom. God was showing us that Jesus had opened the way for us to return to God, to come into friendship with Him once again. God finally sealed Jesus' sacrifice when He raised Him from the dead.
Are you tired of curses and endless rounds of deaths? These things come from the Enemy of our souls. Jesus said, "the thief comes not but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy, BUT I AM COME that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:9-10).
Wouldn't you like to know more about Christianity--an authentically African faith?