Christianity And Islam And The Transatlantic Slave Trade

Superior Essays
Christianity and Islam the Source of the Slave Trade?
Christianity and Islam both affected the transatlantic slave trade. Through the spread of their religions they influenced Africa’s culture and religions. The Islam religion was more accepting of the African culture, which resulted in a more positive response from the Africans. Conversely, while Christianity was accepted, it didn’t grow as fast or as large as the Islamic religion. While the spread of Islam and Christianity created benefits for Africa, the spread of these two religions also negatively impacted Africa through the increased use of of slave trade, which would later inspire the Transatlantic slave trade.
Europeans did not introduce slavery to Africa. In fact, slavery had been
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Islam spread into Africa in the mid seventeenth century, after the prophet Muhammad moved with his followers from Mecca to Medina. This resulted in the eventual spread of Islam, as Arab traders and eventually African priests began to spread Islam along the eastern coast of Africa and to western and central Sudan. Eventually, Islam was able to convert merchants to Muslim beliefs who in turn introduced Muslim to beliefs to their trading states—Mali, Ghana, and Songhai. At first, conversion took place on an individual basis, however when the first rulers, the Gao family, were converted, much of the population also began to convert to Islam. In East Africa, Christianity had been adopted by the rulers, so Islam struggled to convert Africans to Islam, but during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries many converted to Islam. The spread of Islam to Sub-Saharan Africa aided in the rise of political empires, encouraged trade and wealth, and increased the traffic in slavery. Islam tended to be more attractive to kings because of its concept of the caliph, which combined political power with religious authority. While the Africans were exposed to the Islam beliefs their initial African religion was not replaced, consequently they established a unique brand of Africanized …show more content…
century. Some believe that Mark, the first missionary to Africa, brought Christianity from Jerusalem to Alexandria, around the same time that Christianity would spread to northern Europe. Christianity spread slowly throughout Africa; although, in the fourth century an Ethiopian king made Christianity the kingdom’s official religion. Incidentally, in the seventh century Christianity was oppressed under the spread of Islam, however Christianity did remain the chosen religion for the Ethiopians and continued to grow in small pockets in North Africa. In the fifteenth century Christianity came to Saharan Africa with the arrival of the Portuguese. Generally, the Africans were able to practice their religions undisturbed until the nineteenth century, since during this time Christian missions to Africa increased, driven by an antislavery crusade and European’s desire to colonize Africa. Unfortunately, Christianity had no success, as many had converted to Islam as Christianity in its original rigid European form, denied the African people pride in their culture and ceremonies, whereas, Islam tolerated traditional values. For many, this made conversion to Islam easier and less upsetting than conversion to Christianity. On the other hand, Christianity was an agent of great change in Africa as it allowed for new opportunities to some such as education, literacy, and hope for the disadvantaged. However, the spread of

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