RE: “Evangelical entities not to blame for Africa’s woes” (The New Times, August 23).
Where has Mr. Sengoga been hiding the better part of the past 8 centuries? For he surely has missed out on all the juicy details of how the so called European civilisation came to be. So let’s try to bring him up to speed in a crash course of sorts.
First, the Romans. Right up to 450 AD when the founding fathers of the road building empire folded under the challenge from revolting fiefdoms who, having ponied up tax after tax to the emperors of the time, were under duress from heavy taxation by the Romans.
That mother of all empires was threaded together on the tapestry of common shared beliefs: Christianity; Catholicism in particular. Minus a shared belief system and observance of the divinity of the supernatural (life after death), Rome wouldn’t have grown into the gargantuan wide spawning empire it once was.
And with empire comes serfs, taxation and power. And with power comes conquest; conquest begets even bigger conquests. But the empire’s resources were stretched and checked at this point from over expansion.
Rome couldn’t rule over the rest of Europe on horseback and chariots. Means and methods to govern and rule effectively had to be crafted out of thin air, thus the birth of knowledge. Knowledge to build roads that traversed the whole of Europe, boosting efficiency in tax collection for the emperor and seeing to it that the emperor’s will be done both home (Rome) and afield (the wider & greater Roman Empire).
Fast forward to the colonisation of Africa, and who were the trailblazers? Missionaries. For they knew how hard it would be to penetrate previously impregnable uncivilised hunter-gatherer societies. So they invoked their belief systems – all well honed and fortified with scholarly contributions with philosophy and theology.
Europe by now all fresh and glistening, having been newly bathed in their renown period of innovation and invention: the Renaissance. All this newly found knowledge and way of life perfectly came together to form what came to be known as the European civilisation – all under the delicate threading of social cohesion under the common commune of beliefs and Christianity.
Exit Christianity and this whole house of cards would have come crumbling down; victory at the battle of Lepanto against the Islam-leaning Ottoman Empire in 1571 wouldn’t have ushered in Christianity en masse.
Remember the Ottoman Empire was one of the largest and longest standing empires of all time (13th to 19th century); inspired and sustained by Islam and Islamic institutions. Once the Ottoman Turks crossed over from the Middle East into Europe and took over Constantinople, having brought an end to the Byzantine Empire (Roman), Islam was spread fast and far – mostly to the Balkans – right up until the Christian nations grouped together to halt the conquest of Islam-leaning Ottoman Turks at Lepanto.
In closing, why all these religious wars? One phrase: civilisation supremacy. The victor of the two warring religions practically laid claim on all conquered lands and their inhabitants’ way of life and beliefs. Now you know why the BBC strives to broadcast in all crevices on this planet, both far and near: to exert co-optive British soft power and values.
Conquer the mind, and you have conquered the arms and legs; the stomach can’t carry or feed itself. Western civilisation in Africa, and by extension all Western plunder and pillage (slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism, neo-liberalism, consumerism, nihilism, hedonism et al), all run on the subtle infrastructure of Western religion: Christianity. I am done.