Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/220

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AFRICA
AFRICA
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German Africa; English Baptist Mission, Congo State; Established Church of Scotland, Nyassa; Evangelska Fosterlands Stiftelse, Erythræa; Friends (Quakers), Madagascar; Finlandische Mission, German Southwest Africa; Hermannsburger Mission, Natal, Zululand, Transvaal; London Missionary Society, Cape, Bechuanaland, Mashonaland, Rhodesia, Madagascar; Leipziger Mission, German East Africa, British East Africa; Methodist Episcopal Missionary Society, Liberia, Congo State, Angola; Mission romande (French Swiss), Transvaal, Mozambique; Nord-Afrika Mission, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt; Norddeutsche Missionsgesellschaft (Bremen), Togoland; Norwegian Society of Missions, Natal, Zululand, Madagascar; Missionsanstalt Neukirchen bei Mörs a.-R., Rhodesia, British East Africa; Open Brethren (formerly Plymouth Brethren, or Darbyites), Algeria, Morocco, Benguela, Lunda; Société des missions évangéliques de Paris, French Guinea, Basutoland, Barotseland, Gaboon, Madagascar; Protestant Episcopal Mission, Liberia; Primitive Methodist Mission, Fernando Po, Cape; Rheinische Missionsgesellschaft, German Southwest Africa, Namaland, Cape; Dutch South African Mission, Transvaal, Rhodesia; Swedish Mission (State Church), Natal, Zululand; Swedish Society of Missions, Congo State; Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, Guinea, Cape, Natal, Basutoland, Orange Colony, Rhodesia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles; United Brethren in Christ, Sierra Leone; United Free Church of Scotland, Calabar, Cape, Kafirland, Natal, Nyassa; United Methodist Free Church, British East Africa; Universities Mission, Zanzibar, Nyassa, German East Africa; Wesleyan Methodist, Senegambia, Sierra Leone, Togoland, Gold Coast, Lagos and Yoruba, Cape, Kafirland, Natal, Basutoland, Orange Colony, Transvaal, Rhodesia.

(2) The Catholic Church.—We have already noted the rapid expansion of Christianity throughout northern Africa; the splendour which it derived from its many faithful, its doctors, anchorites, confessors, and martyrs; the divisions that crept in; how it spread, on the one hand, from Alexandria in Egypt to Libya and Ethiopia, on the other, from the metropolis of Carthage to Numidia and Mauretania. Unfortunately, the Lower Empire, under whose sway this country had fallen, was more occupied with its religious quarrels than with its organization or defence, and was unable to withstand the successive inroads of the new peoples. Islam made its inroad, and at the end of the seventh century Africa became, so far as Europe was concerned, to all intents and purposes a closed continent. The Church, however, never wholly forsook it, nor ever ceased to hope that it would one day be again open to her. According to the letters of Pope Leo IX (1049–54) to the Bishop of Gumni, there were, even at this period, three or four Christian bishoprics in the very heart of Mussulman territory: one at Carthage, one at Hippo, and the third at Constantine. The Pope wrote: "Carthage will keep its canonical primacy so long as the name of Christ shall be invoked within its walls, whether its scanty monuments lie in the dust forever, as they lie to-day, or a glorious resurrection shall one day cause its ruins to rise again". This seems almost a prophecy of the modern restoration of the Catholic Church in Tunis, achieved in our day by Cardinal Lavigerie, under the auspices of Pope Leo XIII. The Crusades and the foundation of the religious orders—those, especially, for the redemption of captives—brought about the establishment of a number of little Christian colonies along the Mussulman shores of the Mediterranean. There was even a Christian bishopric, first at Fez, and then at Marrakesh, in Morocco (1223), which lasted until the sixteenth century. Another was established at Ceuta, after its capture by John I, King of Portugal (1418) Catholic chapels existed at Oran, Tlemcen, Bona, Bougie, Tunis, Tripoli, etc.; that is to say wherever the factories or counting-houses of Spanish, Italian, or French merchants were to be found. The Trinitarians alone, between the date of their foundation by St. John of Matha, in 1198, and the eighteenth century, set free nearly 900,000 slaves, European Christians who had been taken by the Moors. Portugal has the honour of being the first to shake off the yoke of the soldiers of Mohammed, and to regain for Christianity a foothold on the African continent. The taking of Ceuta, followed by that of Tangier and Tetuan, was the starting-point for the exploration of the coasts. Guided by the genius of Prince Henry the Navigator, Portuguese sailors passed Cape Bogador (1433), reached the Rio de Ouro (1442), doubled Cape Verde (1444), and got as far as Sierra Leone. Wherever they landed the discoverers raised a pedras, or stone boundary-pillar, and peopled the new posts with criminals who had been condemned to death. The Equator was crossed in 1471. Diogo Cam discovered the Congo and travelled up it for 1,128 miles; Bartholomew Diaz doubled the Cape of Storms, and, finally, Vasco da Gama, who had sailed from Lisbon, with three caravels on 8 June, 1497, and had followed the Mozambique coast as far as Malindi, reached the East Indies on 20 May, 1498. Their discovery gave a great impulse to missions. Portuguese and Spaniards, French and Italians, gave themselves with an admirable ardour to the work of the foreign apostolate. This period witnessed the founding of the Bishoprics of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands (1409), Funchal in Madeira (1514), Sant' Iago at Cape Verde; San Thomé and San Salvador (1498), afterwards transferred to Loanda. The Capuchins and Jesuits did wonders in Angola; the Dominicans settled at Mozambique, the bishopric of which dates from 1614; and the Augustinians took Zanzibar, Mombasa, and Paté as their sphere of labour, where they founded numerous Christian communities. Attempts were made at the same time to discover the famous Prester John in Abyssinia, but it was only in the seventeenth century, and for barely forty years, that the Jesuits were able to establish themselves in that country, with the hope, soon destroyed by a violent persecution, of bringing back this ancient church to Catholicism. Unfortunately, however, evil days were destined to blight the fair promise of the African missions. And just as Protestantism at the beginning of the sixteenth century had brought about irreparable divisions of Christianity, and thus hindered the conversion of the world, so now other social, political, and religious disturbances were to check for a while the colonizing activities of the European nations in the countries they had lately discovered. The sectarian policy of the Marquis de Pombal, the bigotry of the Dutch and English governments, and, lastly, the French Revolution, combined to disintegrate the religious orders, and at the same time to destroy the missions. But when the storm was over, the Church set to work to build up the ruins, to make good the harm done, to take up once again her forward march on behalf of civilization. In Africa there were only a few priests and these were at the European trading stations: St. Louis in Senegal, the French island of Goree, the Cape Verde Islands, the Cape of Good Hope, Reunion, and Mauritius. In 1839 M. de Jacobis, a priest of the Mission, with a few of his Lazarist brethren, had succeeded in entering Abyssinia, and in taking up, with many precautions, the old missions of the Portuguese Jesuits; and the Franciscans maintained such remnants of their missions as were left in Egypt, in Tripoli, Tunis, and Morocco. But while the powers of Europe were preparing to make a final division of the African continent between them, God was making ready a new apostle