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Africans are a people rich in tradition and culture. Prior to the arrival of the western Christian faith, Africans had their own means and methods of spiritual operations. They had their own gods, methods of worship, sacrifices and beliefs. some were rational, eventful, unbelievable, wicked, inhumane, and devilish at best. One of the worst features of the African Traditional Religion (ATR) is not just the ability but more so the willingness to afflict those who offend these gods with illness or death. Culturally, in Africa, it is not strange to define power as the ability to do mighty deeds especially evil ones. Power is easily associated with the capacity to do evil.To the African Traditional Religion, its not evil, there is surely a better term to describe the gods. Who dares to use insulting words on the gods. NO, the gods are JUST. A man’s family could be wiped out because the gods and their priests asked no one to come out or go to the stream on a certain market day. In Africa, things like this were not evil, no! they were just. There are even records, shameful ones at that, of human sacrifices for unwholesome and unscientific reasons; but who dare challenge the gods and their priests. There was a massive change coming in the scheme of things in Africa.Image SourceThe Europeans had entered the age of discovery in the 15th century and discovered the shores of Africa and nothing will remain the same. The Europeans came with their culture, civilisation, traditions and most notably their religion. It was one of peace, no human sacrifices required. They brought a God who died for men. They condemned our ATR as barbaric, inhumane and uncivilised ways. Africans gladly accepted their Religion. Why not? They seemed to be able to do the things only the gods could do and cure diseases from the gods. Their God was not as angry as the gods they knew. Then came the change, suddenly the ATR was seen as cruel, devilish and not to be associated with. The people who still practiced it were stigmatised and considered devils. Gradually colonisation began to end and countries in African started gaining independence. This led many of the foreign missionaries who brought the christian faith to the shores of Africa (of course those who were yet alive) to return to their homeland and consequently leaving the reins of the Christian Church to Africans.Fast forward to the 21st century and what you will find in some christian setting is a massive resemblance to the African Traditional Religion it could hardly be contested that many traditionalists have opened centres in similitude of churches because it is the vogue religion. Even more astounding is the advent of “religious modernisers” who form a salad of ATR and Christianity. They indeed are native doctors in suits. So, it would not be a strange sight to be walking by a church premise or even sitting in one and hearing people shouting, praying and chanting “DIE BY FIRE”. The perception now cannot be different from the one Africans had before the church “if it is God then it cannot be evil. It can only be justice” Witch doctors can kill, well so can Pastors and church members.Witch doctors perform rituals, so do pastors and church members with their olive oil, holy water, brooms, handkerchiefs, aprons etc. It is almost not strange to hear of pot breaking services, river bathing, banana services, salt-oil services and other services with striking resemblance to ATR. Why? Its really simple, because Africans are a people of great cultural and traditional heritage, they have subtly and rather unconsciously allowed those cultures and tradition infiltrate the church.In conclusion, I dare say some men have successfully converted African Traditional Religion into African Traditional Churches.

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