Christian Missions in Africa 1800–60

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Map Code: Ax01444

The early African missionaries were often redoubtable explorers. The Lutheran Johannes Rebmann was the first European to see Mt Kilimanjaro (1849), but his reports of its snow-capped summit on the equator were dismissed as malaria-induced hallucination. The founding father of the modern missionary movement was the Englishman, William Carey, with his Baptist Missionary Society (1792). The early focus of missionary endeavour was Liberia, with its settlement by freed African-American slaves assisting in the process. Lott Carey (1821) was a black American missionary in neighbouring Sierra Leone, and Samuel Ajayi Crowther a native African (and ex-slave) graduate of the mission school founded there went on the become Anglican Bishop of western Equatorial Africa. To the south, the London Missionary Society sponsored both Johannes Vanderkemp (1798 Hottentots in Namibia) and Dr Livingstone, who began his ‘missionary travels’ in Bechuana (1840). Catholic missions, including the Jesuits, Franciscans and Holy Ghost Fathers were active from Tunisia to Madagascar.

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