Sunday, March 01, 2009

Christian missionary failures in Africa

Many of my Christian friends tell me of how proud they are that their church sponsors missionary work in Africa.  I listen to glowing accounts of medical treatment and orphanages. When I ask about the negative affects of missionary work I get blank looks. When I point out that fighting AIDS without emphasizing condom use actually causes an increase in infections, they point to how much money has gone into treatment. When I point out that teaching Africans about organized religion also teaches that religion is a business, my Christian friends scoff. Yet I see the head lines every day. Take this one:

Nigerian children branded as witches in deadly purge

I’ll summarize. Nigerians have learned that starting a Christian Church is a legitimate business. To keep growing a church, the pastor must demonstrate his or her power, they do so by declaring children witches. The children are often tortured, maimed, and even murdered.

"Some die, they are thrown into the sea. Many are forced to eat a poisonous wild berry, in the belief that if you eat and don't die, you are not a witch, if you die then you are a witch. But there are hardly any survivors,"

I clearly see the link between Christianity and opportunistic pastors. I read about it everyday here in America. Sometimes the news touches the mainstream, like when Sarah Palin’s pastor was linked to casting out a witch back in Africa.

A story is rarely all good or all bad, it is usually a mixture of both. The story of Christianity in Africa should be viewed with the understanding of duality. While we treat the AIDS patient we also help spread the disease. While we teach Christian morality, we also teach opportunistic immorality. Children are being burned alive as a direct result of teaching Christianity. Don’t it make you feel great?