By Adrian Hastings
The church buildings in Africa most likely represent an important development zone for Christianity within the moment 1/2 the 20th century. From being a couple of really tightly managed 'mission fields' zealously guarded through the nice missionary societies, Catholic and Protestant, they've got emerged around the final many years in bewildering style to selfhood, a club of shut on 100 million adherents and an influential function either inside of their very own societies and on the earth Church. This ebook surveys the background of Christianity all through sub-Saharan Africa throughout the 3rd sector of this century. It starts in 1950 at a time whilst the church buildings have been nonetheless for the main half emphatically a part of the colonial order and it takes the tale on from there around the coming of political independence and the adjustments of the Sixties and early Seventies.
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Additional resources for A History of African Christianity 1950-1975
There were many places where some considerable acceptance of a colour-bar by the church quite clearly indicated a large measure of political harmony between the church and the colonial-settler establishment. Prestigious missionary-run schools for white children only, with educational standards and equipment far higher than those offered in any African school and involving a large number of the best qualified mission staff, showed only too clearly the basic political stance and priorities of a particular church or missionary society: such was the Jesuit-run St George's in Salisbury, or St Mary's of the Holy Ghost Society in Nairobi.
For decades there had been a series of Kikuyu political organisations, long led by the veteran Harry Thuku. The Kenya African Union was founded shortly after the Second World War and in June 1947 Kenyatta was elected president and set about building up its organisation much as Nkrumah was doing at the same time in the Gold Coast - only that Kenyatta's approach was a more restrained one, and his appeal to the whole country more limited. Still by 1950 he was holding meetings of many thousands of people, the only African politician of the first rank east of Nigeria.
There was here a profound identification in principle of religion and national identity: being Ethiopian at bottom meant being Christian, even though as a matter of fact many Ethiopians were never Christians - not only in the newly conquered lands but in the historic heart land of the northern highlands. But the Old Testament sense of mission, of being a chosen nation, now a Christian nation, 'God's holy people' was immensely strong though it generally coexisted with a considerable tolerance of non-Christians in their midst as also with the survival within Christian life of local religious and magical practices deriving from many sources.