The Impact of Christian Education and Cultural Conflict Among the Kikuyu Community

3468 Words Jun 16th, 2012 14 Pages
The first missionaries to settle on the East African coast were Portuguese Roman Catholics. By 1557 they had established monasteries at Mombasa and Lamu, Kenyan coastal towns. The second wave of Christian missionaries included the Lutherans, who were sent to Kenya through the Church Missionary Society (CMS). Among these were Johann Ludwig Krapf, Johann Rebman, and Jacob Erhadt. As the missionaries established themselves on the mainland, they started schools as a means of converting Africans to Christianity. The missionaries learned the native’s languages in order to facilitate better communication and evangelization. Their first project was to translate the Bible into the native languages. Along the coast translation of the
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The white high lands became suitable for European settlement and as the construction of the Uganda railway came to completion in 1902 , it was evident that the colonial government wanted maximum utilization and productivity of the infrastructure. “Sir Charles Elliot, commissioner in charge from 1900, encouraged settlers to use the railway and so make it profitable…Empty land was declared crown land to be sold or leased to settlers, who began to arrive from Britain and the dominions from 1900’s” He proposed the creation of Reserves in an aim to justify European colonization. “He appealed to the British Imperial government to hasten European settlement since the colony’s ideal attractions and advantages offered both in climate and produces favored such a settlement.”
Resentment and Cultural Outcry
Dissatisfaction and resentment began to flare up among the Kenyan Africans and more particular among the Kikuyu community as more and more land continued to be seized by the intruders. The Kikuyu livelihood depended on farming and rearing of livestock, but now they were destabilized by the aggressing colonialists. Most of their land had been grabbed forcefully and they were forced to exit into the urban centers looking for jobs, while the vast majorities were cramped together in newly created reserves for the natives.
Education on the other hand was offered to a
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