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U.S. missionaries have been especially influential in Africa. This column, taken from a recent Vox eBook, looks at the effects of the Christian missionary activity that expanded throughout African countries from the middle of the 19th century. In southern Africa most of the leaders who participated in the fight for independence were educated by missionaries or schools built by missionaries. THE ROLE OF MISSIONARIES The legacy of Christian missionaries in Africa lives up to this day. They used some of the British Empire’s resources and then in turn the empire coerced them to use their teaching to subdue the Africans. Missionaries had both positive and negative effects throughout the history South Africa. John Dube stands as an archetypical example of these positive and negative effects of the mission education in late nineteenth century South Africa. Robertson and other theocrats planned to help set up a reactionary Christian theocracy there, to serve as a … Religion in Africa and the harmful effects ... Westerners failed to accept that during the dawn of colonization, mission at first instance failed to convert Africans just because of language barrier, hence labelled African religion, pagan and depicted Africans as people without religion. Let me explain. Throughout history, religious change is known to have brought about significant economic change in many countries. Missionaries damage cultures — or at least they change them. Instead, they introduced and caused further divisions by adding various denominations eg Catholic, Protestant, Africa Church. Missionaries do not promote unity to the tribal societies of Africa. During colonialism in South Africa they defied the government and educated black students at a time when the colonial governments forbade this … He was right. In the mid-1990s, Pat Robertson of the 700 Club made inroads into Zambia, which he labeled a Christian nation. But he was wrong, in my opinion, if he meant that change to culture is always a bad thing. Missionaries, as long as they are operating as Christian missionaries and not as “Western” missionaries, can bring about positive change in a culture. Missionaries saw the voyages to Africa by their governments as an opportunity for them to spread the teaching of the Christian faith. Missionaries do come with colonial masters and as such were agents of Imperialism. While missionaries could sometimes clash with colonial governments, for the most part missions were important tools for colonial governments. The missionaries emphasized teachings of never questioning authority and accepting colonial rule as ordained by God. 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