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Opinions of Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Columnist: King David Dzirasah

Startling revelation of how Christianity was in already in Africa before colonization

“Jerusalem long lost or not, Christianity is Afro-orient, not European. Christianity was thriving in the horn of Africa in the 1st
century before this religion had really taken root anywhere in
Europe.” Akinyi Princess of K’Orinda Yimbo.

Most often both academic and non-intellectuals based on historical understanding conclude that Europeans brought or introduced Christianity to Africa. It is often said that missionaries from Europe during the colonial days came down from Europe to Africa in their quest of spreading Christianity on a
dark continent that is heading towards hell. However, there is ample
evidence suggesting that Christianity was already on the continent
before the advent of colonization and the coming of European
missionaries.

The Coptic orthodox church of Alexandria is an oriental orthodox Christian church in Egypt, northeast Africa and Middle East. The Egyptian church is traditionally believed to be founded by Saint Mark at around AD 42. Christianity spread throughout Egypt within half a century of Saint Mark’s arrival. Christianity being introduced to the horn of Africa clearly is not as a result of missionary work of Europeans. Even though Christianity was able to spread from the northern part of Africa to the eastern part (Ethiopia), the complete spread of the religion to all part of the continent was made impossible due to the advancement of Islam in the northern part of the
continent.

It is recognizable that historically Christianity came to Sub-Sahara Africa in the 15th century but that cannot over shadow the fact that Christianity was already on the continent before the coming of colonial imperialist. “As of the 7th to 8th century, African warriors were fighting in Europe under the banner of the lion and the half-moon in order to bring the truth faith, Christianity or Islam, to Europe.

Europeans at the time were in the majority heathen and did everything in their power to remain heathen. Because Christ came from their corner of the world, Africans had embraced Christianity at a time when the religion was struggling to take root in Greece and Rome.” Princess of K’orinda-Yimbo. Historically Jesus was actually taken to the northern part of Africa (Egypt) as a child. With that link to that part of the continent, the people were accommodating to
the missionary work of Saint Mark.

The biblical Ark of the Covenant is now believed to be kept in St Mary of Zion’s Church in Axum, Ethiopia. With the knowledge in mind that Africans actually play a crucial role in the expansion of the religion in Europe, one cannot make the assertion that Europeans actually introduced Africans to the religion. It cannot be said that Christianity is a colonial relic or symbolism of slavery since evidentially the existence of the religion precede colonization.