While much has been written concerning the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, surprisingly little attention has been given to the Islamic slave trade across the Sahara, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. While the European involvement in the Trans Atlantic slave trade to the Americas lasted for just over three centuries, the Arab involvement in the slave trade has lasted fourteen centuries, and in some parts of the Muslim world is still continuing to this day.
CONTRASTS IN CAPTIVITY
A comparison of the Islamic slave trade to the American slave trade reveals some interesting contrasts. While two out of every three slaves shipped across the Atlantic were men, the proportions were reversed in the Islamic slave trade. Two women for every man were enslaved by the Muslims.
While the mortality rate for slaves being transported across the Atlantic was as high as 10%, the percentage of slaves dying in transit in the Trans Sahara and East African slave trade was between 80 and 90%!
While almost all the slaves shipped across the Atlantic were for agricultural work, most of the slaves destined for the Muslim Middle East were for sexual exploitation as concubines, in harems, and for military service.
While many children were born to slaves in the Americas, and millions of their descendants are citizens in Brazil and the USA to this day, very few descendants of the slaves that ended up in the Middle East survive.
10 October used to be celebrated as Kruger’s Day, a public holiday in South Africa, which marked the birth of this great founding father of our nation.
Oom Paul was born on his grandfather's farm at Bulhoek, 10 October 1825. Paul's parents were Casper Kruger and Elsie Steyn. Drought, locusts and migrating herds of buck forced them to lead a nomadic existence in the Karoo. He was hardened by nature and schooled by the Bible. He received only three months of formal education, mostly being home schooled. He read the Bible daily.
His father, Casper Kruger, joined the Trek party of Hendrik Potgieter in one of the very first of the expeditions, 1835. As a young boy of 10-years-old, Paul Kruger set out on the Great Trek under Hendrik Potgieter.
To read this article as a PowerPoint presentation with pictures, click here.
To download, print and distribute the tract: The Bible and Halloween, click here for English and here for Afrikaans.
To read this article in Afrikaans, click here.
"Test all things; hold fast to what is good. Abstain from every form of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
A Celebration of Evil
Halloween is a religious day, but it is not Christian. Tom Sanguinet, a former high priest in Wicca has said: "The modern holiday that we call Halloween has its origins in the full moon closest to November 1, the witches' new year. It is a time when the spirits (demons) are supposed to be at their peak power and revisiting planet earth… Halloween is purely and absolutely evil, and there is nothing we ever have, or will do, that would make it acceptable to the Lord Jesus."
Day of Death
Halloween has strong roots in paganism and witchcraft. It began as the Druid festival of Samhain. The Celts considered November 1st the day of death, because, in the Northern hemisphere, this was the beginning of winter, the leaves were falling, it was getting darker earlier, and temperatures were dropping. They believed that their sun god was losing strength and Samhain, the lord of death, was overpowering the sun god. The druids also taught that on 31 October, on the eve of the feast, Samhain assembled the spirits of all who had died during the previous year to return to their former home to visit the living.
The Father of Modern Missions, William Carey, launched the Greatest Century of Missions with his electrifying sermon: “Expect Great Things from God! Attempt Great Things for God!”
The Desperate Need for Accessible Leadership Training
There is a tremendous need and hunger for literature and leadership training throughout Africa. However, one of the ongoing problems is that most of those who leave rural areas for urban training institutions tend to stay in the urban centres and are lost to the rural communities who sent them for further training.
Urbanisation and Diaspora are Depleting Church Leadership
Similarly, most of those who go to first world nations for further training tend not to return to their third world countries of origin. In this way, the church is haemorrhaging in Africa. Some of our most promising leadership candidates are failing to return to their communities. The rapid urbanisation and mass movement to first world countries is devastating to local congregations. Most pastors in the rural areas where we work have no tertiary education at all.
In 2010 Christians in South Africa are celebrating the 150 anniversary of a most remarkable Revival which swept across the Cape in 1860.
A Spiritual Wilderness
The Cape Colony prior to the 1860 Revival was a spiritual wilderness. The Dutch East India Company controlled the appointment of pastors and establishment of congregations. Yet, in the first 150 years of Dutch rule in the Cape only five congregations had been established, all within 130km radius of Cape Town. Most of the farmers and Trekboers had no access to pastoral guidance, or opportunities for religious services. Even more seriously, although few of the people in the colony spoke Dutch anymore, the authorities deemed their vernacular, Afrikaans, to be unworthy for church services, prayers, or even for personal devotions. This led to very stilted services where the average member of the congregation struggled to understand the high Dutch of the pulpit and found it hard to express themselves in prayer through the Dutch language. The only Bible available was Dutch, which most of the population had trouble reading. Without the ability to pray from the heart, most resorted to following fixed formulas of well worn expressions.
9 June is Pentecost Sunday.
God has promised "I will give water to the thirsty land, I will pour out My power on your children." Isaiah 44:3
"Here is My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen One in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him and He will bring justice to the nations." Isaiah 42:1
Commands to Christians
The disciple of Christ must learn and experience what it means to:
Be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5: 18).
Be led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14).
Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:26).
Pray in the Spirit (Jude 20; Romans 8:26).
John the Baptist was "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight." Matthew 3:3
John said: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I'm not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:11-12
"For our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:29
"For our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:29
When the Lord made His Covenant with Abraham He revealed Himself as a burning torch (Genesis 15:17-18).
God revealed Himself to Moses through the burning bush (Exodus 3:2-14).
Back to the Bible
Over six years ago, I embarked on a bold and ambitious Back to the Bible Reformation project – to read, study and preach through every Book of the Bible, with the goal of producing books surveying the Old Testament and New Testament. This was to coincide with the Reformation 500 anniversaries.
It was 31 October 1517, that Professor Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the Church door of the Schlosskirche (the Castle Church) in Wittenberg, Germany. It was 1 January 1519, that Reformer Ulrich Zwingli dispensed with the Latin mass and began Expository Preaching, in their local language, starting with the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 1, working through every verse in the New Testament. The Reformers called believers to return to the Bible as the sole standard of Faith and practice and to recognise the Lord Jesus Christ as the only True Head of the Church.
The centenary celebrations of the ANC and their determination to dedicate the country to the ancestral spirits sparked nation wide controversy. How are we as Christians to respond? What does the Bible say concerning the spirits of our ancestors? To whom should South Africa be dedicated? Are there examples in history of other nations that have invoked the spirits of their ancestors? What were the results in those cases?
The African National Congress started off the year by throwing itself a lavish birthday party in Bloemfontein. To celebrate its journey from anti-apartheid movement to ruling party, they scheduled a golf outing, champagne toasts, and an inter-faith service which involved slaughtering a bull and invoking the ancestral spirits.
With drums pounding and chants filling the air, the ANC president, Jacob Zuma, initiated the traditional cleansing ceremony by ritually sacrificing a bull, killing it with a spear, while it was tied to a tree. ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, explained: “traditionally the act of slaughtering has different meanings. All nations have a way of celebration through slaughter… it is the same but in different circumstances.” The inter-faith service included messages and blessings from representatives of all major religions, including Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Rastafarian, and traditional Animist witchdoctors. Despite the ANC, secretary general’s assertion that “all nations have a way of celebration through slaughter…” journalists could not think of how the Queen of England, for example, marks national events by ritual slaughter of a helpless animal.
For your edification, and for intercession, here is a small selection of remarkable written responses we have received from our literature ministry. Please do continue to lift up these people and countries in prayer and please continue to intercede for our publications that God may use them to renew minds, transform lives, change hearts and disciple nations.
“You sent me the Discipleship Handbook. I have read it all and made comparison with the Islamic theology and I finally reached the conclusion that what Jesus said is right and the Bible is true. I need some more books to read. Can you please send me more.” Karachi, Pakistan
“Your book ‘Putting Feet to your Faith’ is very strong and effective for Nepal.” Nepal
“Oh behalf of the Kanyama Pastors Fellowship, I would like to say thank you so much for the donation of library books we received. The Pastors were filled with Joy. It has come at the right time and the College now has a library.” Pastor Hakobwa Kennedy, Kanyama Pastors Fellowship, Zambia
“I have read your article entitled Raising God-Fearing Children. I must congratulate you on this beautiful article. I must say, I receive many magazines and other Christian information from all over the world, but your magazine Christian Action is quite unique in its contents and articles.” Rui Barandas, South America