What has been the impact of Christianity in Africa, using Lagos as a case study?


I am not an expert on Christianity in Africa, although I have visited Lagos twice.  I believe you will have to look at the history of the continent of Africa itself; especially sub-Saharan Africa.  What was the history of the continent before the advent of Christianity?  How has the culture changed?  How has the human view of self been changed?  I believe you as an African are in many ways more qualified than I to answer this.  I have studied the history of Africa quite a bit, but I am not part of that culture.

I believe that with the advent of Christianity in parts of Africa, there has been a huge change is the amount of superstition.  Traditional, animist religion saw humans as being subject to the whims of local gods.  People saw phenomena such as weather, disease and human fate as subject to the whims of varios gods.  There were many taboos intended to influence such superstitious beliefs.  Under these pagan beliefs such activities as drunkenness, sexual immorality, sexual abuse and violence were rampant.

Modern Africa is moving away from these superstitions.  Under the influence of Christianity, education, personal responsibility, personal morality and individual freedom are all improving.  Of course, the picture is not all rosy.  Africa, and specifically Nigeria is subject to many problems, including corruption, greed, continued sexual immorality and violence.  Christianity has clearly not completely taken hold in Africa.  Of course, it has not in Europe or North America as well.  Time will tell whether Christian values will continue to have more influence in Africa.  One can only hope that it does.

John Oakes 

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