Essay on African Slave Religion

1742 Words Dec 15th, 2005 7 Pages
The Community of Enslaved Africans and their Religious & Spiritual Practices.

During a most dark and dismal time in our nations history, we find that the Africans who endured horrible circumstances during slavery, found ways of peace and hope in their religious beliefs. During slavery, African's where able to survive unbearable conditions by focusing on their spirituality. Christianity was amongst the slave community. Being that the vast majority of the slave community was born in America, converting slaves to Christianity was not a struggle. All slaves were not Christian, and slaves that had accepted Christianity were not official members of the church. Over time Slaves made Christianity their own. There would be occurrences where
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African firmly believes that there is a living communion or bond of life which makes for solidarity among members of the same family. Before Christianity, Africans did have their own system of salvation. In traditional religions, salvation can and does take the form of courage to face the reality of morality. The church was looked art as a place for political activity, a source of economic cooperation, an agency of social control, and a refuge in a hostile white world. Slaves worshiped with great enthusiasm. Religion, after all, provided a ready refuge from their daily miseries and kindled the hope that one day their sorrows might end. Planter's actually encouraged religious observances among their slaves hoping that exposure to Christian precepts might make their laborers more docile, less prone to run away, and more cooperative and efficient workers. But slaves turned biblical scriptures to their own purposes forging a theology that often emphasized the theme of liberation. It was easy for them to see, for example, in the figure of Moses a useful model for their own dreams; like the Israelites, they too were ready to cross a River Jordan into a promised land of freedom. The religious services held in the quarters provided slaves with so many positive experiences that, even as they were being exploited, they managed bravely, but perhaps not too surprisingly, to feel that they were free within themselves. In this way slaves began to achieve a degree of liberation well

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