The religious forum is the right place to discuss the religious exploitation of humanity. The role of Christianity in African slavery is rather unique. Most religions allowed slavery based on economic and monetary reasons. But slaves were never targeted because of their skin colour alone. This all changed when Christians justified their targeting of Africans based on scriptures and skin colour. The continued discrimination of Africans are purely on skin colour.
There is a UNESCO study on the impact of slavery on the dark continent. What would be edifying to members on DDO is to hear Christians express their opinions on this subject and also those who feel indignation by this unjustifiable act of inhumanity against a people of negroid ancestry.
What role did Christianity play in African Slavery?
Historical records show that Islam and Christianity played an important role in enslavement in Africa. The Arab-controlled Trans-Saharan slave trade helped to institutionalise slave trading on the continent. And during the 'age of expedition', European Christians witnessed caravans loaded with Africans en-route to the Middle East. Others arriving much later in West Africa observed slavery in African societies, leading them to assume that African enslavement was intrinsic to the continent.
For many of these early European explorers, the Bible was not only regarded as infallible, it was also their primary reference tool and those looking for answers to explain differences in ethnicity, culture, and slavery, found them in Genesis 9: 24-27, which appeared to suggest that it was all a result of 'sin'.
In the Genesis passage, Africans were said to be the descendants of Ham, the son of Noah, who was cursed by his father after looking at his naked form. Moreover, in Genesis 10, the 'Table of Nations' describes the origins of the different 'races' and reveals that one of the descendants of Ham is 'Cush' - Cush and the 'Cushites' were people associated with the Nile region of North Africa.
In time, the connection Europeans made between sin, slavery, skin colour and beliefs would condemn Africans. In the Bible, physical or spiritual slavery is often a consequence of sinful actions, while darkness is associated with evil. Moreover, the Africans were subsequently considered 'heathens' bereft of Christianity, although scholars now suggest that Christianity reached Africa as early as the early 2nd century AD and that the Christian communities in North Africa were among the first in the world. However, Europeans doubtlessly refused to acknowledge the relevance of African Christianity as it appeared irreconcilable with the continent's cultural surroundings.
The Trans-Atlantic Slave a Trade.
"In fact, for almost 150 years, Ghana, on Africa"s west coast, was the center of the British slave trade. Western traders arrived in ships loaded with manufactured goods to barter or trade for slaves. Those who were sold had often been captured in tribal warfare; some had simply been kidnapped to sell to European slave traders.
it is estimated from as many as 20 million West Africans were captured between the end of 15th century until 1870 (when the slave trade was abolished). Only half of them survived the harsh conditions on the voyages " and 10 million of them actually made it to the Americas.
Ghana's role in the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
Ghanaians, it seems, view the Trans-Atlantic slave trade as an unfortunate historical human calamity which must not be allowed to happen again.
But the question is how many Ghanaians are truly aware of the role people living within that part of the continent at the time played in the actual act of capturing and selling their own people in return for things such as gunpowder and kola? The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Ghana, an exhibition mounted as an attempt to educate the public on the historical occurrence of the slave trade, is currently on at the National Museum in Accra.
Not only is there evidence of some 35 slave markets dotted around the area in West Africa where Ghana is situated, there are also many routes, transit camps and objects available to establish that the trade took place under horrendous conditions. Several of these transit camps and markets have been identified within the area where Ghana is currently situated. And some of these inland sites are characterised by water cisterns, remnants of slave warehouses, rock boulders and trees with large or long exposed roots for chaining the enslaved. Burial grounds for slaves, and their ancestors as well as their masters are still visible at places like Salaga, Saakpuli and Kafaba in the Northern part of Ghana. Other places include Assin Manso and Effutu in the Central Region area, and Atorkor, Peki Dzake and Adafianu in Anloland.