EDITOR – I CAME across a piece on Christianity on social media that I think is very revealing. I, however, do not know the author, but I think it’s significant for the piece to reach all corners of the country. In fact everyone must read it because it shows how Christianity was used as a tool of subjugation by imperialists. The points below are important.
- Conversion: Missionaries were sent to then Rhodesia to convert the indigenous people to Christianity.
The conversion process was often accompanied by promises of education, healthcare and other benefits. However, the conversion was also used as a means of cultural assimilation and control.
The indigenous people were taught to reject their traditional beliefs and practices and adopt the values and beliefs of the white settlers.
- Justification of colonisation: The white settlers used Christianity to justify their colonisation of Zimbabwe. They believed that it was their duty to bring Christianity to the ‘heathen’ indigenous people and to civilise them. This belief was used to justify the exploitation of Zimbabwean resources and the forced labour of African people.
Control of education: The white settlers controlled the education system in colonial Rhodesia and used it to promote Christianity and European values.
Indigenous languages and cultures were often suppressed, and children were taught to speak European languages and adopt European customs.
Suppression of traditional beliefs: The white settlers saw traditional African beliefs as primitive and superstitious.
They used Christianity to suppress these beliefs and practices, often through force.
This led to the loss of cultural identity and the erosion of traditional African values.
Overall, Christianity was used as a tool of cultural assimilation and control by the white settlers in Zimbabwe.
It was used to justify colonisation, suppress traditional beliefs and promote European values.