As we are entering what has been dubbed the ‘festive season’ we at the Africa Center have been reflecting on what this season means for our community.
Despite the fact that it has become highly commercialized, Christmas is still widely known as the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ (despite the fact that he was born in June, but that is a story for another day). Hence, as a celebration and festive season it is closely linked to the Christian religion.
As a Center that is highly invested in doing decolonial work in terms of anti-racist work in Hong Kong and Asia at large it can often be difficult to separate Christianity from its brutal entry into most of the African continent through missionaries who in many cases paved the road for colonialists, or in some cases where in fact the colonialists themselves.
However, there is more to the history of Christianity on the African continent than colonialism. The most obvious example, that is unfortunately not well known is the long and strong history of orthodox Christianity in the eastern horn of Africa, especially in Ethiopia and Eritrea, where churches date back as far as the 4th century.