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Colonialism and Religion Essay
Colonialism and Religion Paper
Colonialism and religion have a strong relationship that is characterized by the use of religion as a means of colonizing and assimilating new areas. A historical analysis of Christianity in regions, such as the Americas and Africa, for instance, reveals that the Europeans used religion as a front for establishing their dominance on the native people. They sent missionaries, under the decree of the Crown, to spread the gospel to indigenous persons, whom they believed to be primitive for failing to acknowledge the presence of God.
Even in the Bible, in the book of Exodus, we see the corruption of the Israelites under the dictatorial leadership of Pharaoh, which made them conform to the Egyptian way of life and religion (Hussain and Oxtoby). The Muslims also used their religion, Islam, as a front for colonizing other nations in what they termed as Jihad or the Holy War. They believed that Prophet Muhammad had the divine calling of spreading Islam to different corners of the world and transforming non-believers.
The conquests/colonialism enabled Islam to spread to other regions, such as North and East Africa, where it is still practiced today (Hussain and Oxtoby). However, the colonialism has also facilitated the emergence of extremists in the modern society who take their role of spreading Islam to non-believers literally or by any means necessary. They also view their cause as a struggle between Christianity/Western culture and Islam. Hence, they deem it paramount to maintain their religious traditions at all costs.
Consequentially, colonialism and religion have a strong relationship. Colonization is an integral instrument of spreading religion, while religion was a critical tool for establishing colonialism in the historical days. Empires that captured new lands forced the residents to conform to their religion to maintain order and facilitate assimilation, and because they believe that their religion was true and the most valid.
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