Christianity and African spirituality ... can you practise both?

Clement Manyathela speaks to Reverend Fika Mathe, lead pastor and founder of Living Stones Assembly and theology researcher Dr Funlola Olojede on how Christianity and African Spirituality can co-exist.

Previously polarised and influenced by the religious intolerance of colonisation, African spirituality and Christianity used to be seen as opposing doctrines with many African people feeling forced to choose a side.

However that is changing, seen through petitions to government for a religious holiday called Ancestor’s Day, traditional healers and a number of celebrity figures being open about becoming traditional healers - African spirituality has recently been thrust into the spotlight.

Clement Manyathela unpacks how Christianity and African spirituality can co-exist with Reverend Fika Mathe and theology researcher Dr Funlola Olojede.

Rev Mathe says Africans must reaffirm and reassess their identity.

The reverend adds that there is a distinction between religion and culture which is something a lot of African people are not aware.

He says identifying this difference is important as some people do certain things thinking its African culture, but it actually is not.

Mathe says that once the distinction is formed, we will be able to build a harmonious relationship between our cultural identity and religious identity.

Callers shared their opinions with a few highlighting the violent history colonialism which used Christian doctrine as a tool.

Dr Olojede, says that despite the unfortunate history of colonisation running parallel with Christianity, they are separate concepts.

He says that it is important to separate the history from the core religious beliefs and efforts of the missionaries.

They were two different people even though colonialists exploited missionary efforts in doing what they were doing.

Dr Funlola Olojede, Theology researcher

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