Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Challenges of Faith in Africa

Landing of Christianity site at Bagamoyo

                  The Church in Africa is a growing church.  Many parts of the continent have received the Gospel for not more than 150 years ago. The Diocese of Morogoro will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Christinaity in Tanzania and in the Eastern Africa.

Participants at the parish cemetery site

                  Our first visit to the Parish Cementery of Bagamoyo made us to understand the challenges our first missionaries went through.  Most of them died of early age because of tropical deseases, particularly Malaria.  Others, suffered the difficulty of adaptation to harsh climate conditions, some were kicked out by political rulers and other challenging conditions.

                  During our group discussions, we came up with some few challenges to faith in missionary works.  We identified challenges such as; Ignorance, Illitereacy, Syncretism, Early Marriage, Youth Ministry, Sects and New religious movements.

                  In this module, our facilitator, Fr. James Shimbala, SMA helped us to make a critical analysis on “Witchcraft Mentality” as one of the crucial problems of faith in Africa.  The tendency of explaining events in terms of witchcraft mentality which is widely spread in our cultures.  The common belief is that things do not happen by accident.  We always put someone behind our failures, misfortunes, and disasters.  Death, accidents, sickness and loss of job are often attributed to someone who caused them.  This mentality comes with the attitude of Jealousy and Prejudice.

                  The mentality can be overcome by empowering our Christians, helping them to develop the Spiritual-self so that they can resist such beliefs.  In conclusion, we have a call to create an awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of all people, deep trust in the immense power of God rather than Superstitions.

Fr. Felix Drani, M.Afr.
Working in Burkina-Fasso
Missionary from Uganda