Christianity in Ghana

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Christian activity dates from the arrival of the Portuguese on the coast in 1471, but RCs were a small minority when the Dutch took over the Portuguese interests in 1642. Sustained missionary work began when the Swiss-based Basel Mission entered the Danish trading sector in 1828. Other missions followed. Favoured by the increasingly dominant British, they prospered in the Fante south; Ashante was more resistant, and British conquest in 1896 probably stiffened opposition to Christianity. RC missions returned, beginning with the Society of African Missions in 1880. During the First World War missionaries from Continental Europe were expelled, but Church membership increased under local leadership. Preachers without missionary tutelage caused large movements towards Christianity. Where Christianity had already been established, Churches stressing prophecy and healing developed, incorporating elements of traditional culture. The pioneers of Ghanaian independence (achieved in 1957) were mostly influenced by Christianity, and the Churches were able to resist several acts of state power. Contemporary Ghanaian Christianity is strong in the South, limited in the North. There are new denominations and charismatic and para-church movements, in addition to the historic Churches deriving from the older missions.

Subjects: Christianity.

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