Early relations with the state were not warm. Protestantism is also highly valued for the educational and medical services provided, much in the same way as the Roman Catholic Church is. The country has one archdiocese and seven dioceses. Kitawalists continue to resist saluting the flag, participating in party-mandated public works (Salongo), and paying taxes. Colonial bannings failed to eradicate the movement, however. Factbook > Countries > Democratic Republic of the Congo > Demographics. OF CONGO. Based on these elements, some scholars support the existence of a unique AIR, but these “common elements” are not found in every African culture. When Kamwana was eventually allowed to return to Nyasaland in 1937, he initiated the Mlondo or Watchman Healing Mission, an African initiated church entirely independent of the Watch Tower Society, with its own rituals and scriptural interpretations, although many of its members still read the Watch Tower Society's magazines. Islam made it's way into the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the 18th Century as East African Arab ivory traders made their way inland in order to attain more elephant tusks for ivory. The majority are Sunni Muslims. Individual congregations are scattered throughout much of the country, but the greatest concentrations have always been in Bas-Congo; some villages there have long been totally Kimbanguist. There is no official state religion; the Fundamental Act mandates freedom of religion. When, for example, a charismatic preacher of the officially recognized but noncharismatic Church of Christ of the Ubangi (Église du Christ de L'Oubangi) broke away in 1988 to ally his own congregation with a charismatic but officially recognized church community in distant Kivu, the Church of Christ in Zaire stepped in to adjudicate. Thus, linguistic experts such as Christopher Ehretand Placide Tempels have applied their knowledge of languages towards reconstructing the original core beliefs of the followers of these traditions. Sophisticated urbanites, faced with disease in a family member, may patronize indigenous healers and diviners. Around 2 million people in Congo are Catholics. Some observers contend that the church is doing a better job at managing state functions, such as healthcare and education, than the government has historically done. The extent of his success caused increasing alarm among both church and state authorities. Christianity and colonialism had a great impact on these art forms. The Rise of Nationalism in Central Africa: The Making of Malawi and Zambia, 1873-1964, p. 66. State subsidies for hospitals and schools, for example, were (with two individual exceptions) reserved exclusively for Catholic institutions until after World War II. Sorcerers are the possessors of nonhereditary powers that can be bought or acquired. The faith has a significant impact on the economy, political and social life of the Congolese nation. Since independence, church leadership and control have been widely and successfully Africanized, though not without conflict. Forty-eight percent of the people adhere to native religions and the remaining 2 percent are Muslim. Most indigenous communities recognize a high god, and many attribute to him the role of creator; otherwise, he has few specific characteristics beyond that of ultimate cause. Main religions: indigenous beliefs, syncretic Christianity, Islam. In spite of state prohibitions, new churches outside the three officially recognized in the DRC have sprung up and, so long as they remain small and nonthreatening, have usually been left alone by authorities. Theological messages varied from place to place, but a common core of beliefs included the struggle against sorcery, the purification of society, and the existence of a black God. Protestant missionaries have been active since 1878 when the first Protestant mission was founded among the Congo. Oral Literature and Moral Education among the Lakeside Tonga of Northern Malawi, Oxford, African Books Collective, pp. The diviner is a specialist skilled in identifying the social tensions present in the community of the afflicted, and, for a fee, will identify the agent responsible for the individual's misfortune. The Rise of Nationalism in Central Africa: The Making of Malawi and Zambia, 1873-1944. Other independent churches include the Matsouana Church and the Bougist Church. The Roman Catholic Church owns hospitals, schools and even farms and stores in the country. In many ways, the Kimbanguist Church and the Roman Catholic Church have exchanged places in their relationship with the state; the former outlaw has become a close ally and the former ally an outspoken critic. Connect with Yeyeo Botanica! The legalized church, known as the Church of Jesus Christ on Earth by the Prophet Simon Kimbangu (Église de Jésus-Christ sur Terre par le Prophète Simon Kimbangu—EJCSK), has since succeeded in becoming one of the only three Christian groups recognized by the state, the other two being the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Christ in Congo. Different spiritual traditions, agents, and communities may be sought out for assistance, depending on the situation at hand. The syncretic sects often merge Christianity with traditional beliefs and rituals, and may not be accepted by mainstream churches as part of Christianity. The Kimbanguist Church is said to be the largest independent church in Africa. 1. Situated outside of the governing colonial trinity of state, Catholic church, and companies, Protestant missions did not enjoy the same degree of official confidence as that accorded their Catholic counterparts. The British missionary Joseph Booth and his African associate Elliott Kamwana became members of the Watch Tower Society in South Africa in 1906 and 1907 respectively. Healing by the laying on of hands; strict observance of the law of Moses; the destruction of fetishes; the repudiation of sorcery, magic, charms, and witches; and the prohibition of polygyny were all part of his original message. The four linguistic phylums spoken in Africa are: Afro-Asiatic, Nilo-Saharan, Niger-Congo, and Khoi-San. The majority of schools in the Democratic Republic of Congo throughout history are and were Christian, therefore, Muslims could not attend. The group first received recognition in 1986 under etition from members who had joined the Church while studying abroad in Switzerland and Belgium. According to Paul, (2004: 2) ATR is the indigenous religion of the Africans which was handed over from one generation to another by word of mouth until recent attempts at documentation. There are also independent African churches; the Kimbanguist Church, the largest independent church in Africa, is a member of the World Council of Churches. This religion is valued by the Congolese population due to the image of integrity the church projects in such a corrupt country. Most traditional African religions have, for most of their existence, been orally/spiritually (rather than scripturally) transmitted or practiced. The symbol can be found throughout Ghana. The church's penetration of the country at large is a product of the colonial era. Jamaa means "family" in Swahili, and the Jamaa religion is a hybrid of European and African religious beliefs. The wide variety of African indigenous beliefs and practices makes generalizations difficult, but some commonalities may nonetheless be noted. Democratic Republic of the Congo Religions. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo alone there are several variations of the traditional African religion. Overlapping affiliations are more common. Christianity has a rather long history in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, dating back to 1484, when Portuguese colonizers arrived in the country and missionaries established some high profile conversions (such as the King as well as his entourage). The governing body prevented the Kivu church from accepting the rebellious preacher and his congregation, leaving him with no outside allies or resources and effectively localizing his potential impact. Islam was largely suppressed publicly in the period of Belgian colonialism until 1920, when Islamic organizations such as Quran schools were opened. Both church and state looked askance at the formation of new uncontrolled religious movements and splinter groups. The Democratic Republic of Congo is heavily influenced by the Christian religion, which makes up for 80 percent of the people in the country.  Islam was introduced and mainly spread by Arab merchants and slave traders.. There are six archdioceses and 41 dioceses.  The first Baháʼí Local Spiritual Assembly of the country was elected in 1957. 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