Christianity's role in African Slavery

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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.



The shaming of Africans.

Christianity played a major role in African slavery. But it was the Africans themselves who made it possible and supplied the slaves. Their complicity and brutality in creating the dehumanizing conditions and treatment of captured Africans in slave camps betrayed the innate jungle culture that the world witnesses as uniquely African. This archetypal jungle behaviour is pervasive throughout African history and has earned Africa the distinction of being the dark continent and the negroid Africans identified as being of sub-human ancestry.

"The forts and castles which started as European trading posts later becoming dungeons and slave auction areas which dot along the coast of Ghana even till today, don't give the whole picture.

This exhibition tackles the story of the slave trade from another more important angle which has, hitherto, not been told much. It tells how deeply African chiefs and kings themselves were involved in the trading, ordering raids and kidnaping, and arranged markets where the captured were sold. Toward the end of the 17th century and in the first few decades of the 18th, slave raiding and kidnaping became the major occupation among the Akwamu, Akyem, Kwahu, Krepi and Fante in the southern part of the Gold Coast and among all the major ethnic groups in the northern part of the country. It tells how those captured had to walk several kilometres under brutal conditions. Chained to each other with neck to hands iron shackles, they only got to rest at transit camps before arriving at the markets. Their new masters would then distinguished them from each other by marking them with branding irons which were put in fire to become red hot before they were stamped on specific parts of their body.

Many of the original iron shackles, some specially made for children, and the branding irons with inscriptions like ITA and GHC are in this exhibition. Also on display are recent colour photographs of many of the transit camps and markets as they look today."


Christianity obviously has nothing to do with the slave trade, you are making an identity fallacy by equating colonial European imperialist powers with Christianity. Also, your curse of Ham claim is a debunked argument.



--> @Mopac
Christianity obviously has nothing to do with the slave trade, you are making an identity fallacy by equating colonial European imperialist powers with Christianity. Also, your curse of Ham claim is a debunked argument.

CATHOLIC CHURCH TIMELINE OF CRITICAL POINTS IN HISTORY
YEAR.                  CHURCH’S POSITION
362 AD.              The local Council at Gangra in Asia Minor excommunicates anyone       encouraging a slave to despise his master or withdraw from his service. (Became part of Church Law from the 13th to 20th centuries).
354- 430 AD.   St. Augustine teaches that the institution of slavery derives from God and is beneficial to slaves and masters.
650 AD.            Pope Martin I condemns people who teach slaves about freedom or who encourage them to escape.
1179 AD.           The Third Lateran Council imposes slavery on those helping the Saracens.
1226 AD.           The legitimacy of slavery is incorporated in the Corpus Iuris Canonici, promulgated by Pope Gregory IX which remained official law of the Church until 1913.                  Canon lawyers worked out four “just titles” for holding slaves: slaves captured in war, persons condemned to slavery for a crime; persons selling themselves into slavery, including a father selling his child; children of a mother who is a slave.
1224- 1274 AD.     St.Thomas Aquinas defends slavery as instituted by God in punishment for sin, and justified as being part of the ‘right of nations’ and natural law. Children of a slave mother are rightly slaves even though they have not committed personal sin!
1452 AD.              Pope Nicholas V issued the papal bull Dum Diversas on 18 June, 1452. It authorizes (King) Alfonso V of Portugal to reduce any “Saracens (Muslims) and pagans and any other unbelievers to perpetual slavery.
 
The same pope wrote the bull Romanus Pontifex on January 5, 1455 to the same Alfonso. As a follow-up to the Dum diversas, it extended to the Catholic nations of Europe dominion over discovered lands during the Age of Discovery. Along with sanctifying the seizure of non-Christian lands, it encouraged the enslavement of native, non-Christian peoples in Africa and the New World.
1493 AD.               Pope Alexander VI authorizes the King of Spain to enslave non-Christians of the Americas who are at war with Christian powers.
1494 AD.              Pope Alexander VI, in the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, divides the known New World between the two countries. As there was a need to locate a group to work in areas where the supply of indigenous labor was insufficient, to sustain their colonies, Spain and Portugal imported Africans.
1500- 1850 AD.     Twelve million Africans arrived in the Americas to toil as slaves. The vast majority of these slaves worked in the Catholic colonies of Spain and Portugal
1548 AD.               Pope Paul III confirms the right of clergy and laity to own slaves
1866 AD.               Pope Pius IX declares:
Slavery itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law, and there can be several just titles of slavery, and these are referred to by approved theologians and commentators of the sacred canons … It is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or given”.
1888 AD               Pope Leo XIII condemns slavery in more general terms, and supports the anti-slavery movement.
1918 AD.               The new Code of Canon Law promulgated by Pope Benedictus XV condemns ‘selling any person as a slave’. (There is no condemnation of ‘owning’ slaves, however, and that was viewed as an entirely distinct issue at the time!).
1965 AD.              The Second Vatican Council defends basic human rights and denounces all violations of human integrity, including slavery (Gaudium et Spes, no 27,29,67).
Table prepared by John Wijngaards, with data from: J.F.Maxwell,
The Development of Catholic Doctrine concerning Slavery
World Jurist 11 (1969-70)  pp. 147-192 and 291-324.


It's hypocritical for Harkrish to act concerned about religious discrimination towards Africans since he himself is racist towards blacks.
--> @Fallaneze
It's hypocritical for Harkrish to act concerned about religious discrimination towards Africans since he himself is racist towards blacks.

Where does it say that in my posts?

Harikrish is a biblical scholar and spiritual leader.
--> @Fallaneze
This thread has been copy and pasted.
--> @Snoopy
This thread has been copy and pasted.

Is that why you are called snoopy? 
--> @Harikrish
Christianity condones slavery, Hinduism condones the caste system.
--> @Harikrish
I've seen some of your posts on the religion forum on DDO. Still the same racist lowlife you've always been.
--> @Harikrish
The role of Christianity in African slavery
No one has dealt more in the slavery of black AND white people than muslims have have. They invented the "trade" and continue it to this day with anyone who isn't muslim. Over 14000 white female children were taken, raped, prostituted and taken as sex slaves just in Rotherham UK alone.
--> @Harikrish
You are making a non point.


Without closely examing even these examples for veracity, nothing after 650 AD is Orthodox. 

Also, yes, just as the church doesn't teach to overthrow government, we do not encourage slaves to rebel against their masters.




--> @Alec
Christianity condones slavery, Hinduism condones the caste system.

I agree. 
The Hinduism caste system is really a social construct and built around a division of labour. 
For eg. Would you like someone who cleans sewers for a living also cook/touch your food or be your dentist where he puts his hands in your mouth?

Division  of labour actually helps streamline choices. Warriors begets warriors and artisans begets artisans with some exceptions.

i am a Brahmin and come from the priestly caste. So you can and should hold me to a higher standard.
--> @Fallaneze
I've seen some of your posts on the religion forum on DDO. Still the same racist lowlife you've always been.

It's called different strokes for different folks. I can be both transcendental or stoop to your level. As a man sows so shall he reap.
--> @Harikrish
Hari... try not to get banned bc i want to ask you some questions. I'm going to derail this thread though if that's okay with you. 

Would you say Hinduism is the oldest religion? 

My observation of mystics from India is that they don't look at it as a religion but a way of life... would you say that's true?

Would you say the most important thing is to look within and continue asking questions? I feel Hinduism has been doing that... which is good imo.  

Do you agree with the "everything is a manifestation of consciousness" idea?
--> @Alec
There is a difference between condoning slavery and recognizing it as a reality. Christianity doesn't condone slavery, but if you ever find yourself in position of slavery, there is a Christian way to go about. 
--> @Harikrish

i am a Brahmin and come from the priestly caste. So you can and should hold me to a higher standard.


Well then, you should know better than to take yourself an expert in Christianity. It appears to me that you can't even tell the difference between Orthodox Christianity and Roman Papalism.






--> @Harikrish
For eg. Would you like someone who cleans sewers for a living also cook/touch your food or be your dentist where he puts his hands in your mouth?
As long as they clean up really really really well, I wouldn't care.  I don't think that India needs 1/5 of their population cleaning the streets.  India should install toilets or at least latrines so the Dalits can get a better job.  It worked well for the west.

You shouldn't discriminate against Dalits.  India also use to burn widows, until the West brought an end to it.


--> @Harikrish
Indeed, you've sown racism and you've reaped as a racist. 
--> @Outplayz
try not to get banned bc i want to ask you some questions. I'm going to derail this thread though if that's okay with you.

Would you say Hinduism is the oldest religion?

My observation of mystics from India is that they don't look at it as a religion but a way of life... would you say that's true?

Would you say the most important thing is to look within and continue asking questions? I feel Hinduism has been doing that... which is good imo. 

Do you agree with the "everything is a manifestation of consciousness" idea?

Hinduism is definitely older than the 3 major religions Judaism, Islam and Christianity. There are several paths to God in Hinduism which is why we appear to have a God for every occasion. But it is a way of life which is based more on spirituality and transcending the physical distractions. In a nutshell it is mind over matter.
And yes, consciousness and ultimate awareness is the goal. Hinduism is the only religion that satisfies the intellectual and spiritual needs of human societies.
well done!!!

--> @Harikrish
consciousness and ultimate awareness is the goal
In life? Or does this have to do with the afterlife too? 
--> @Outplayz
consciousness and ultimate awareness is the goal
In life? Or does this have to do with the afterlife too?

It is the goal in as many cycle of lives it takes to achieve it. People are more familiar with the word Nirvana.
--> @Harikrish
But what if my ultimate goal isn't Nirvana? 
--> @Outplayz
But what if my ultimate goal isn't Nirvana?

Then you will repeat the cycle of rebirths like a mouse on a threadmill.
--> @Harikrish
Then you will repeat the cycle of rebirths like a mouse on a threadmill.
First of all... you have no clue what "I" will go through and what will happen to me. I'm pretty conscious my man. Enough so to know that both of those sound like hell to me. Well, the repeat the cycle part is no different than me just dying and turning into nothing. That's why i don't consider reincarnation much bc it's no different than death just being an end. As to Nirvana... i know myself enough to know if that is what happens the first thing i will think or say is "fuck this i'm out." Therefore, that would not be a desirable outcome either. Now... i can't tell you that you're wrong bc i have no clue what happens after death... but what i can confidently tell you is that those two alternatives i would classify under the "hell" umbrella. 

But here is the thing that is so interesting to me about eastern philosophy and beliefs such as nirvana or oneness. You guys are talking about a pretty profound and interesting platform... it very well could be that platform. However, out of every mystic i've listened to, eastern teacher, or person i've met in real life... they all don't fully grasp the implications of infinity. Becoming this "infinite consciousness" ... they just don't get how it's a good idea, but they don't see the implications beyond what they want / what they are to that platform. That's interesting to me and why i hold those philosophies in higher regard than others. It's bc your side of the world has been trying to figure out the platform for years. More than any other religion and respectfully, by asking questions. I respect that... but don't for one second try to think you know who i am to this platform... bc you don't. I'm the expert in that regard.