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Religion

Africans became Christians long before Europeans

Africans became Christians long before Europeans

It is often said that Europeans brought Christianity to Africa. Not so, says Akinyi Princess of K’Orinda-Yimbo. “Jerusalem long lost or not, Christianity is Afro-Orient, not European. Christianity was thriving in the Horn of Africa in the 1st century, before this religion had really taken root anywhere in Europe,” she writes, adding “from as early as the Carolingian period – 7th to 8th century – African warriors were fighting in Europe under the banner of the lion, the shield and the half moon in order to bring the ‘true faith’, Christianity or Islam, to Europe Europeans at the time were in the majority heathen and did everything in their power to remain heathen. Because Christ came from their corner of the world, [Africans] had embraced Christianity at a time when the religion was struggling to take root in Greece and Rome.” Welcome to Black History Month 2008.

 

As usual, the African Diaspora in Britain will organise various events throughout October to mark the occasion. This year, New African celebrates Black History Month with a special package, staring here with an extract from Akinyi Princess’ excellent book, Darkest Europe and Africa’s Nightmare published earlier this year. In this extract, she focuses on a section of the African past which is too often swept under the carpet.

 

Other articles in the package include “The Greek philosophers who came to Africa to study”, “The 25th anniversary of the American invasion of Grenada”, and “Another black history month in November if Obama wins the American presidency”. It is not the usual fare, so please sit back and enjoy … and we wish you a happy Black History Month.

 

Africa is always used as the barometer of the whole of humankind to uplift anybody who might think that his/her lot is rotten – because this lot is always portrayed as “better than that of the African”. That African of the Western media who makes you feel good because you are not at the bottom of the human ladder, like him.

 

That African whose – if you trust the cameraman and his lighting – ash-grey or blue-black naked feet are covered with crawling maggots, which he/she is shaking off the fish-heads drying in the sun. The fish filets have of course been exported as Victoria tilapia to richer tables abroad. This is taken for granted even by the Africans themselves, not only the Westerners, as the natural order of things. If the African lets himself get so dehumanised, then it is his own fault. If he believes that poverty and misery are his condition, well then, he is welcome to it.

Remember the humanitarian Gilbert Murray’s blatant assertion: “There is in the world a hierarchy of races … those nations which eat more, claim more, and get higher wages, will direct and rule the others, and the lower work of the world will tend in the long run to be done by lower breeds of men. This much we of the ruling colour will no doubt accept as obvious.”

From the beginning of the 13th century, a certain Wolfram von Eschenbach of Germany created the image of the so-called noble Moor as a knight full of virtues, courage and a ripe fruit of faithfulness. With such famous institutions of learning like Timbuktu, the Moor’s education was touted to be beyond any other; pure and brave in battle he was, too. No other knight before him was so gentle for he knew no injustice, according to von Eschenbach. In Peter Martin’s book, Schwarze Teufel, edle Mohren, the author delves into a few details about this Africa’s and African’s light hidden under a bushel by the calculating West.

 

 

 

 
Religion

Zimbabwean Christian bus driver arrested for brandishing two knives as he prayed

Zimbabwean Christian bus driver arrested for brandishing  two knives as he prayed

by Aline Nassif
A bus driver who claims his obscure Christian sect required him to brandish two knives as he prayed on his bus has been warned he faces jail for carrying offensive weapons.

Marima Machinjiri, 41, said the knives he waved around symbolised swords "God will use against his adversaries".

But Croydon Magistrates' Court took less than an hour to dismiss his claims and find him guilty of possessing two offensive weapons.

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He now faces jail when he returns to court to be sentenced tomorrow - or may even be sent to crown court where a longer sentence can be passed.

On Friday, the bench heard the former Zimbabwean police officer had been spotted with the 20cm and 11cm blades by a concerned driver as he sat in the out of service 119 bus at the bottom of Gravel Hill.

The driver, Brigitte Boughey, told the court: "He turned round with knives in his hands. I was horrified.

"There was a knife in each hand - a big blade in the right hand and a smaller one in the left.

"He was speaking, he was talking and biting his lip as if he was angry.

"He then used the knives, stabbing out at the windscreen, as if he was stabbing at something.

"And then he drew the knife in his right hand across his throat."

Although there was no-one on the bus, Ms Boughey said she followed Machinjiri because she feared he might pick up people at a bus stop.

They drove up Gravel Hill, and to the woods top of Shirley Hills Road, where Machinjiri parked at the bus stop and put his hazard lights on.

Machinjiri, who came to the UK in 2001, admitted going into the woods to pray on July 5 at about 7.30pm - but denied "messing around" with the blades beforehand.

He said his 'Church of Christ' sect demanded daylight prayer three times a day with the use of the swords, or knives.

He told the court: "The knives are symbolic of the swords God will use against one's adversaries.

"My family in Zimbabwe are very religious, they follow the Church of Christ, which is not available in this country."

The family man of Whitford Gardens, Mitcham, said: "That [the woods] is the place I always stop to pray because there are bushes, and it wouldn't attract attention.

"I prayed there for about 10 to 12 minutes. I had good reason to possess them for religious reasons which is provided for by the law of the land."

But the crown prosecutor Mrs Williams questioned whether Machinjiri's alleged branch of Christianity, which is based on the Old Testament, uses swords for prayer - and the defendant failed to produce literature or witnesses to back up his claims.

She continued: "Are you honestly saying you thought it was perfectly in order and safe to carry what could be two very dangerous weapons with you during your working hours?"

Chairman of the bench Dr Bill Dolmin said the witnesses testimony shed doubt on the "credibility" of Machinjiri's evidence, and found him guilty.

 

 

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