Of Desert Fathers & Maroons: Congolese Christian Experience

Desert Fathers Dispatch

Usually when we think of African-American Christian leaders who spoke and acted out against injustice, a number of Civil Rights era figures come to mind; MLK (of course), Fannie Lou Hammer and the like. Or, if we want to talk about self-help leaders in our community, Elijah Muhammad and Marcus Garvey come to mind. Yet, before these heroes were even dreamed of, there were black men and women who stood on their religious principles, planned a revolution and, when it was foiled, established a community of free people that existed outside of American society for over 100 years.

Osman, the Maroon

Among the enslaved Africans brought to America, many came from the Congo kingdoms of West Africa. In 1491, King Mwene Kongo Nzinga Nkuwu heard the Gospel from and was baptized by Roman Catholic priest from Portugal. Over time, Bibles and religious books were translated into the local language. Congoleseā€¦

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