Opinion: Kenya is Suffering Neo-Colonialism Propagated by Christianity

The William Ruto administration is a culmination of a carefully sold lie that he is a saint, a staunch Christian, and a man who truly has the country's interests at heart.

Opinion: Kenya is Suffering Neo-Colonialism Propagated by Christianity
Kenyan President William Ruto. Source: K24.

Our country Kenya is suffering neo-colonialism, worse still, neo-colonialism that is propagated by Christianity. The William Ruto administration is a culmination of a carefully sold lie that he is a saint, a staunch Christian, and a man who truly has the country's interests at heart. He is anything but. WSR is the worst thing to happen to Kenya since Daniel Arap Moi and the common man will be the one who suffers the most.

The Christian Lie

William Ruto packaged himself as a staunch believer in Christ and a God-fearing man as he campaigned for the 2022 elections. Ruto, like the British colonizers who colonized Kenya in the 20th Century, realized how potent Christianity can be, as a tool to colonize the masses. As the adage goes, religion is the opium of the people. What better way to neo-colonialize a budding African nation than by using a tried and tested method? What better way to get you to vote for WSR than to include God and Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior?

What is Neo-Colonialism?

Neo-colonialism refers to a form of indirect control or influence exerted by former colonial powers or other dominant nations over newly independent or less-developed countries. It involves economic, political, cultural, and social domination, often facilitated through various means such as economic dependency, unequal trade relations, military intervention, and cultural imperialism.

A cartoon showing colonialism by the white man and neo-colonialism by Africans on Africans
Neo-colonialism has always been fellow Africans using colonialist principles to cannibalize their own culture and society. Source: Twitter.

How has Christianity been Used as a Tool for Neo-Colonialism?

Christianity, as a dominant religion with historical ties to colonial powers, has been used as a tool for neo-colonialization in certain contexts. It is important to note that this analysis does not imply that all instances of Christian missionary work or religious activities are forms of neo-colonialism, but rather focuses on specific historical and contemporary examples where Christianity has been employed as a tool for exerting control or influencing power dynamics.

  1. Cultural Assimilation: During the colonial era, Christian missionaries often played a role in cultural assimilation by promoting Western values, beliefs, and practices among colonized populations. This process aimed to erode indigenous cultures, languages, and traditions, replacing them with Western norms. This cultural dominance furthered the control and influence of colonial powers over the colonized territories.
  2. Conversion and Power Imbalance: Missionary activities have at times been utilized to convert indigenous populations to Christianity, with the intention of undermining local belief systems and reinforcing the dominance of the colonizers. Conversion to Christianity was sometimes linked to gaining social or economic benefits, reinforcing power imbalances, and perpetuating dependency on the colonizers.
  3. Economic Exploitation: Christianity has been used to legitimize and reinforce economic exploitation in neo-colonial contexts. Missionaries often established or collaborated with institutions such as mission schools, hospitals, and businesses, which played a role in consolidating economic power and control in the hands of the colonizers. These institutions often operated with a paternalistic approach, reinforcing economic dependency and reinforcing the existing power dynamics.
  4. Political Influence: Christian missionary activities have been known to intersect with political agendas in neo-colonial contexts. Missionaries and religious organizations have sometimes aligned themselves with political powers, supporting or endorsing policies that maintain or advance the interests of the former colonial powers. This involvement can shape the political landscape and limit the agency and self-determination of the local populations.
  5. Neocolonial Aid and Development: In the post-colonial era, some Christian organizations have engaged in aid and development work in neo-colonial contexts. While many of these efforts have genuinely aimed to alleviate poverty and promote development, there have been instances where aid has been used as a means of control and influence. Conditional aid or development projects tied to religious conversion or adherence to specific ideologies can perpetuate power imbalances and perpetuate neo-colonial dynamics.

It is important to recognize that these examples do not represent the entirety of Christian missionary work or religious activities. Many Christian individuals and organizations have made significant positive contributions to communities worldwide, engaging in genuine acts of compassion, education, and social justice. However, the historical and ongoing intersections between Christianity and neo-colonialism highlight the need for critical analysis and reflection on power dynamics within religious and development contexts.

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