Wolde Tinsae Prescod: Barbados ... Why is African history not taught here?





PERHAPS at the upcoming African Global Conference to be held here, one of the presenters will tell us why, with a Commission for Pan-African Affairs, a 90 per cent black population and a large Christian majority, black Barbadians know so little about the glorious role their foreparents played in early Christianity.

Or, about two of the oldest churches on the African continent and indeed the world – the Egyptian Orthodox Church established by St Mark the gospel writer in AD 58 and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, established AD 330.

It is ironic that while black priests here hardly breathe a word of history to their congregants, their leaders have extolled the two ancient Christian churches of Africa. For instance, former head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Paul VI, told the head of the Egyptian Orthodox Church on his visit to Rome in May 1973:

"You are indeed the head of the church whose origin goes back to the Evangelist Mark and which had in St. Athanasius . . . the invincible defender of our common Nicene faith, that is, faith in the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ."

When Emperor Haile Selassie I visited England in 1924, the then Archbishop of Canterbury acknowledged that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church was a glorious one stretching back to Jesus Christ. He told Haile Selassie:

"Your Highness! Your Church has an ancient history of about 1600 years. Its beginnings approach the even earlier period of the apostles of our Lord. Your church has a history which is related to the time of Athanasius and his companions."

Why is this African history not taught at the schools, Cave Hill Campus and Codrington College. The radicals have dealt with the issues they wanted to and moved on . . . but one day coming soon!



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