Christian churches of 4th Century Africa were independent of Western Imperialism.
However, invaders of Africa from the West found their penetration into the continent easier under the banners of Religion. Full advantage was taken of the fact that Africans are very religious people.
First came the Crescent Flag of the Prophet, an Islamic advance that was three-pronged: proselytizing missions claiming one brotherhood, widespread intermarriages plus concubinage with African women due to Muslim system of polygamy and forceful conversions at sword point.
The Cross of Jesus followed the Muslim Crescent.
The Cloak of Christianity was the most convenient for those who had other designs, hence the strong drive to convert. However, conversion here meant far more than a conversion to Christianity. As in the case of Islam, it meant to change into the Caucasian image, his ideas, and his value system.
The real object of worship turned out to be neither Jesus Christ nor his Father, God, but Western man and Western civilization. Christian brotherhood? Well, eh, yes, in principle! Or to be practical, you Africans can have all Christian brotherhood you desire – among yourselves.
Apartheid was Africa-wide while the continent was under colonialism and not a peculiarity of the South African system alone as many are led to think. There was Apartheid in Kenya.
What happened in the process of converting Africans to Islam and Christianity was the supreme triumph of the white world over the black world. Millions of Africans became non-Africans.
Africans who were neither Christian nor Muslim were classified as Pagans, and therefore required to disavow their whole Culture and to regard practically all African institutions as ”backward” or savage.
Africans in their own right became non-persons. Members of a race of nobodies and so hopeless that self-realization as personalities, even in a subordinate status, could only be achieved by becoming Muslims or Christians.
Indeed, in order to destroy completely not only their African heritage but also their very African identity psychologically, they were forced to change their names to Arabic and Christian names.
Henceforth, these African Marys, Abdullahis, Johns, Muhammads, Noahs, Williams happen to achieve greatness in some field, the assumption would be it was a Caucasian achievement – unless a special effort was made to identify the race of persons in question.
Blacks at home, here in Africa, and those scattered all over the world bore the names of their enslavers and oppressors – the ultimate self-defacement that promoted self-hatred and made pride in race difficult.
That these psychological shackles still handicap not only the re-birth of modern African states but also African people across the globe should be obvious to all.