The conversion of the african slaves into christianity was due to the fact that their new white american owners felt that is was their “christian duty “to save the african souls from their heathen ways. A number of older, classic works, notably albert raboteau's slave religion (1978) and mechal sobel's trabelin' on (1979) have portrayed conversion and the development of a distinctive form of afro-american christianity as central to understanding the experiences of slaves. Preserving african religions in north america proved to be very difficult the harsh circumstances under which most slaves lived—high death rates, the separation of families and tribal groups, and the concerted effort of white owners to eradicate heathen (or non-christian) customs—rendered the preservation of religious traditions difficult and often unsuccessful. The first african christians were not american slaves the christian heritage in africa goes all the way back to the days of the bible itself christianity and slavery in african-american history.
African americans played a major role in their own conversion, and for their own reasons africans brought to america initially resisted giving up the religions of their forefathers, but over the years, and with the birth of new generations on american soil, accepting christianity became part of accepting america as home. According to john bragg, a virginia minister, slave owners agreed that conversion would result in the slaves “being and becoming worse slaves when christians” some even believed “a slave is ten times worse when a christian than in his state of paganism” there were legal complications as well. In their important work come shouting to zion, historians sylvia frey and betty wood proclaim that the conversion of african americans to protestant christianity was a, perhaps the, defining moment in african american history a number of older, classic works, notably albert raboteau's slave .
Home / featured / the inconceivable start of african-american christianity the inconceivable start of african-american christianity the conversion of slaves in . Masters feared converted slaves would interpret religious equality as step towards freedom many slaves derived spiritual satisfaction from ancestral religions and were not attracted to christianity elements of west african religious culture that became part of american religious culture. However, slaves also saw conversion to christianity as a road to freedom in the early years of settlement, for instance, fugitive slaves from south carolina, headed for florida, where the spanish . Provocative, if not fully persuasive in its argument, daniel l fountain's slender volume, slavery, civil war and salvation: african american slaves and christianity, 1830–1870, challenges historians' widespread belief in the centrality of christianity to the lives of antebellum southern slaves a clear majority of slaves, he asserts, did not convert to christianity until after the civil war.
How african american slaves practiced christianity of conversion other beliefs some slaves rejected christianity and preserved their traditional african beliefs . A strong body of literature describes how during slavery, elements of african traditional religion merged with christianity to create a uniquely african american form of the christian faith the works of albert j raboteau, mechal sobel, and margaret washington creel represent some of the most detailed research that describes the emergence and growth of afro-christianity. The promise of heaven the most important aspect of christianity for the enslaved was the promise of heaven -- a promise made by plantation owners 9 devastating actions white slave masters . Convert to christianity or die john stone & hugh fogelman millions of african−americans are christians today because their ancestors were converted against their will to the religion of the slave-master.
Conversion to christianity could qualify a slave for freedom • slavery might have begun in america for economic reasons, but by the end of 17 th century, it was clear that racial discrimination also powerfully molded the american slave system. African-american muslims, also most of these captives were forced into christianity during the era of american slavery conversion to islam is a practice . Why slaves adopted their oppressor's religion—and transformed it the inconceivable start of african-american christianity for decades all manner of people and circumstances conspired .
Some slaves rejected christianity and preserved their traditional african beliefs or their belief in islam other slaves accepted christianity of a different type—catholicism relatively few slaves, mainly concentrated in southern louisiana and maryland, were roman catholics. Christian missionaries and slave owners attempted to use christianity to legitimate slavery and control slaves slaves found different themes in christianity than whites for whites, america was the “new israel” or the promised land. “slavery and conversion in the american colonies” chapter in the history of slavery and christianity in the american colonies the conversion of slaves .
What does the equation of slaves with heathens imply about the conversion of slaves to christianity what was the actual effect of the christianization of slaves how might the equation of slaves with heathens have influenced the african-american experience of christianity. Slavery, civil war, and salvation african american slaves and christianity, 1830-1870 timeline for the african american conversion experience the role of . The most important aspect of christianity for the enslaved was the promise of heaven — a promise made by plantation owners this idea preached the notion that for all the suffering that is done .