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Missionaries In Africa Doing More Harm Than Good?

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posted on Aug, 1 2014 @ 09:31 PM
Who are the Christians to go to another country uninvited and try to supplant the native religion with their own fantasies? Jesus loves you? Says who? The Bible, that Jesus didn't write?

All you're doing is continuing Western colonial thought processes.

Maybe if the people from any given country wanted to change their culture, they should do it themselves, without interference whether from slaveships showing up and stealing the youngest and strongest, or from delusional religious nutjobs who show up and think they know what's best spiritually.

And then there's people like Mitt Romney, who spent two years avoiding the draft and trying to get the French to give up wine.

posted on Aug, 1 2014 @ 09:48 PM
This reminds me of a Kipling poem titled the white mans burden:

Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

Take up the White Man's burden--
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another's profit,
And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden--
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper--
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go mark them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man's burden--
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloke your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden--
Have done with childish days--
The lightly proferred laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers!

It has always been the case since the age of imperialism, we go in with a bible and a bar of soap, and use the land as we can. Anyone intrested should read the jungle by Joseph Conrad. It was the book that spawned apocalypse now, only taking place on the Congo river

posted on Aug, 2 2014 @ 12:01 AM
a reply to: kosmicjack

I wonder what sort of an education I'd have had, and what sort of a person I would be, if not for missionaries.

My country was a European colony for nearly 450 years. The first Christian missionaries to come here were Roman Catholics. Later we had Presbyterians and other Protestant denominations (including some very active American Congregationalists), and finally the missionary organizations of the Church of England. British rule in my country lasted for 130 years, until just after the Second World War.

Although public education was an acknowledged responsibility of government throughout the British period, the colonial administration was happy to leave the bulk of it to missionary organizations. In fact, during the period of Evangelical dominance over British foreign policy (roughly the mid-1800s), the Colonial Office was explicit in its support of missionary activity. No preference was given to the Established Church, and missionaries of all denominations ran schools in my country. Some were mission schools that received government grants; others were government schools, which were typicaly staffed by missionaries.

These schools were the only places in the country where you could get a modern education. Obviously it was in large measure a Christian education, yet they were hugely popular. But Christianity wasn't the only bias built into the curriculum: pupils at these schools learnt the history and culture of Britain and the West but nothing of their own; Muslims lagged in educational attainment as a group because Muslim parents didn't want their children preached at by Christian missionaries (Hindus and Buddhists didn't mind); educated people learned paternalistic European attitudes from their teachers, and came to derogate and even despise their own people and culture; England came to be seen as the model of all things good and right; and the English language became a powerful weapon of class oppression.

Later, after independence, there was a massive anti-Western backlash, which resulted in the destruction of much of the existing system of education and the structure of the modern state the British had created, so that today the people of my country are ill-educated, ignorant, steeped in prejudice, politically and culturally debased and ruled by violence and fear.

The effects of missionary activity on my country are far too extensive to go into in a single forum post, but I would like to point out some positives as well as negatives. Both my parents (and some of my grandparents) were educated at mission schools; so was I, but my 'mission school' was actually an elite Church of England school founded well over a century before I joined it. I am proud of my old school, and very grateful for the education I received there. I would be a very different person without it.

Missionaries here did a great deal of good; far more good, I think, than harm in the end. If social-development indicators in my country (literacy, public health, etc.) are among the highest in the region, if the position of women is relatively more equal than in other poor countries and population growth is not a problem, much of the credit must go to Christian missionaries who worked here (and in many cases died here) during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Yes, there was much racism, paternalism and ignorance in their attitudes and their actions. At times, reading about it, one can still feel disgusted or outraged after all these years. But we owe the missionaries far more than most of my compatriots are prepared to acknowledge, and I for one would rather have had them than not.

Whether I would have felt the same way if I had been born in 1858 and not 1958 is quite another matter, of course. And in any case, I think the times when it was acceptable for Westerners to go out into the world and tell others what to do are very nearly at an end.

Why don't they first turn their sights to helping the poor, uneducated, sick, dying or disenfranchised in their own countries?

Good question. You're not the first to ask it.

Wot aggravates me, Samivel, is to see 'em a wastin' all their time and labour in making clothes for copper-coloured people as don't want 'em, and taking no notice of the flesh-coloured Christians as do. — Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers

edit on 2/8/14 by Astyanax because: long posts love tweaks.

posted on Aug, 2 2014 @ 12:36 AM
a reply to: Astyanax

What a fantastic post. Thanks for your contribution.

I feel like I learned something today.

posted on Aug, 2 2014 @ 02:34 AM

originally posted by: loam
a reply to: borntowatch

This isn't really a subject I know very much about.

But I think everyone generally hears of the good some projects do....rarely the 'mistakes' as you put it.

I think that's worth understanding too, don't you?

Sadly I think many people focus on the mistakes made not the progress.
I didnt even realise the impact missionaries made on so many.
Hospitals, schools and individual projects that change lives.

Those things you dont hear about because there is no story.

As for ok2go's comments
Are you the man I answer to, do I have to submit myself to you

How bout you live your life and I will live mine, my conscience will decide for me, you do what you desire.

posted on Aug, 2 2014 @ 02:47 AM

originally posted by: kosmicjack
a reply to: borntowatch

You raise some excellent points.

But I still do think there are opposing purposes for so-called "humanitarian" work - genuine humanitarianism, religious evangelism, adventure and political.

And, when it comes to religious evangelism - isn't it kind of like answering a question no one asked?

I cant speak for every Christian who undertakes missions, I can say that I have seen missionaries working for Christ (myself included) who have made terrible mistakes. But in the balance more good is done than bad, mistakes are learned from and hopefully rectified and not made again.

As for evangelism, the message is simple.
God loves you, you are valued and you should value others as we value you.
I will die for that message (I wont kill for it), just as Christ did, the message Christ asked me to pass on.

You know the funny thing, these people see Christian nations as the place to live, the place they want to be.
Does that tell you something, anything?

posted on Aug, 2 2014 @ 04:57 AM
a reply to: loam

I am very suspicious about NGOs these days since I read that the Red Cross backed away from a very cheap and simple remedy for Malaria and that Agenda 21 (NWO) make very good use of NGOs.

posted on Aug, 2 2014 @ 05:02 AM

originally posted by: mysterioustranger
a reply to: loam

Hello Loam. Nice to speak with you. Im reminded of an analogy about missionary work:

There were several missionaries who went to the jungle to teach the natives about birth control, and the proper way to use condoms. The lecture went very well.

A year or so later...they returned to that village and noticed there were little babies everywhere, but the village was very very clean and tidy.

Every broom in the village...had...yep! Can you guess the end here? The brooms all had condoms on the handles!!!

Just shows that the Missionaries best of intentions can fall on deaf ears when there is a lack of understanding!

Religious missionaries have as their sole purpose the ensnaring of people into their trap to breed more, not less, members. The Catholic church is one of the worst offenders for this and that's because they know they are a very small religion

posted on Aug, 2 2014 @ 05:23 AM
a reply to: kosmicjack

why do missionaries go to America - because they are the ones who believe that anyone who does not follow the EXACT dogma they do is an apostate , here is a joke :

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said, "Stop! Don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he said. I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!" He said, "Like what?" I said, "Well, are you religious or atheist?" He said, "Religious." I said, "Me too! Are your Christian or Buddhist?" He said, "Christian." I said, "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?" He said, "Protestant." I said, Me too! Are your Episcopalian or Baptist? He said, "Baptist!" I said, "Wow! Me too! Are your Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord? He said, Baptist Church of God!" I said, "Me too! Are your Original Baptist Church of God or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God!" I said, "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915!" I said, "Die, heretic scum!" and pushed him off.

but it sums up some peoples thinking

posted on Aug, 2 2014 @ 08:02 AM
i was entertained by a couple of young female LDS missionarys today, they were polite and certainly very easy on the eye, but was wondering why we need missionarys in Australia

posted on Aug, 2 2014 @ 08:20 AM
I see a lot of ignorant xenophobic comments.

Its find to send US solders abroad to spread "freedom" .Merica!!!

But if aid workers volunteer to go over thats bad......

Some of you little wordier s it would seem have the attitude that travellings pointless. With your attitude why bother ever leaving the USA shut all ports and airports and stop American practising the freedom to go abroad.

edit on 2-8-2014 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 2 2014 @ 08:43 AM
Its hard to imagine religious groups going to a place like Africa spreading there faith such as not using birth control in a place that has a AIDS epidemic.

Its hard to imagine these religious groups going to a place like Africa spreading there political ideology such as the anti gay agenda plus no birth control.

posted on Aug, 2 2014 @ 10:01 AM
Gotta laugh at the hubris of missionaries who think that they are doing a great, yet of course suitably humble thing by going halfway around the world and trying to convince the natives that THEIR superstitions aren't nearly as correct as the missionaries' superstitions are.

When are the Christians (y'know, that group that seems to have a preponderance of pedo priests that are never, EVER brought up on charges and sent to jail!) going to realize that a God that would rape a 'virgin' with the plan, malice aforethought, of having the offspring of that rape die by torture to prove His 'love' for all mankind, and that even though you're a wicked sinner guilty from your first breath, if you only believe in that particular god, not all the other poseur gods, that you'll live forever. Or get into heaven in a cloud berth somewhere near the chosen ones, and, if you're lucky, get to meet the tortured kid at some point. At least, that's the promise, such as it is.

I mean, how can anyone believe this crap? But point it out and you get truckloads of cognitive dissonance and hatred aimed back at you in varying amounts.

How many Western diseases did the missionaries spread to the native populations who had no immunities? How many missionaries lived in the exact same living conditions as the natives, and how many lived on 'plantations' all the while using the natives as slave labor? How much missionary work was cover for exploitation along with indoctrination? Who's to say that life as an 'ignorant savage' (with 1000s of years of cultural history) isn't preferable morally to life as a capitalist slaveholder?

posted on Aug, 2 2014 @ 04:36 PM
a reply to: crazyewok

Traveling is great..changing things when you get there? Not as much.

posted on Aug, 3 2014 @ 10:37 AM
As Kipling pointed out we civilized first-worlders seem to have this weird "nanny sense" and regard everyone else as having no meaningful existence without our aid. Missionaries have done good work no doubt, but then there's people like the Sentinelese, with no agriculture, no ability to mine iron, not even a way of producing fire; yet there they are living the way they have like hunter gatherers without interruption. Needless to say, the other Andamanese islanders who received aid and help from British missionaries also received alcoholism and disease, and are now nearly extinct. Maybe the Sentinelese were right in killing any interlopers to their island.

posted on Aug, 19 2014 @ 02:40 PM
a reply to: loam

My daughter have a friend that after they graduated from UGA, her friend spend two years in Africa as a missionary, she was in a village where the only access to anything from civilization was delivered once a month, including mail, she and my daughter kept in touch for those two years (she was able to come back after the first year to see her family), she was healthy never really got sick and she loved her work and learn to survive from nature.

So anybody that feels they have a mission to do in a poor foreign country regardless of background are doing missionary work around the world.

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