Christian East African Economic Development

Learning About Other Religions in Africa, Bringing People to Christ

The ultimate goal of Ugandan Gold Coffee is to bring people to Christ through the development of jobs, food and, one of the most important components of development, water wells. When a well is completed, a community grows and thrives around the clean water source. People come together to form strong bonds in Christ, then venture outside of their village to continue to spread the Word of God. It is not just about the coffee.

To know more about the place we are serving, we did a little research about the religious practices in Africa and, more specifically, Uganda.

First, it is important to note that there is no one common religion in the continent of Africa. The Encyclopedia Britannica explains, “Africa is a vast continent encompassing both geographic variation and tremendous cultural diversity. Each of the more than 50 modern countries that occupy the continent has its own particular history, and each in turn comprises numerous ethnic groups with different languages and unique customs and beliefs.” Religious practices are age-old traditions within the culture. Christian and Islamic beliefs are actually thought to be a part of the New Religious Movements growing throughout Africa.

Even though it is extremely diverse, religious ideologies can be compared to find similar practices and beliefs. For example, the majority of African religions believe in a “Supreme Being” who brought the Earth into existence and then withdrew from the daily life of man. How the practices differ is in the prayer, sacrifices, and worship of intermediary gods between man and the Supreme Being. To put this into perspective, instead of the Christian portrayal of the relationship with God being one of intimate trust and faithfulness, the people of Ghana leave it to the elders of the community to pray to Nyame, the Creator.

Along with this, in African culture there is a heavy reliance upon ancestors to provide protection against the evil of the world. Much like the Christian guardian angel, ancestors give spiritual guidance to their living community members and are considered to be mediators for experiencing spiritual power. Becoming an ancestor is reserved for those individuals who, in life, achieved high social status and maintained a certain behavior pleasing to the culture. It is believed the ancestors watch over their villages and bestow sickness or misfortune upon them as a penalty for misbehavior. This concept explains why many Africans believe in a connection between biological suffering and moral dilemmas/social conflict.

The people of Uganda practice 3 major religions: Islam, Christianity, and indigenous beliefs. Majority of the population (80%) believe in the Christian God, about 15% practice Islam, and the remainder follow their tribal religions. For many, traditional religious beliefs are combined with traditional tribal beliefs, creating a “form of various syncretic religious trends” (britannica.com).

What does all of this mean? Hope. To encourage those who believe to continue putting their faith into practice. To tell others about the love of God. Providing clean water opens the door for hope. How can you help? By purchasing a bag of Ugandan Gold Coffee, you are contributing to our efforts to drill wells in villages that need clean water, hope, and Christ.

Information derived from: https://www.britannica.com/topic/African-religions

Image from: churchpop.com

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3

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