Songs, dances and frenzy: what do American churches black

Songs, dances and frenzy: what do American churches black

Anyone who has ever in your life visited African-American churches, said that such a warm welcome and fun will not see even on grandma’s birthday. Service in the “black” Church is more like a carnival or festival that has already become the subject of jokes.


Singing, dancing, rapping and rolling on the floor — so it may look Christian worship. At least in the black churches of America, the parishioners are all American blacks. Why service in the African-American churches are more like parties, and from the temple can go only raised his finger up, says, “the”.

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Anyone who has ever in your life visited African-American churches, said that such a warm welcome and fun will not see even on grandma’s birthday. It doesn’t smell of incense, not asking you to be quiet and stand to attention. Service in the “black” Church is more like a carnival or festival that has already become the subject of jokes. The difference is the “black” and “white” churches of one stand-up, blog post and episode in the popular television series.

And if the Protestant Church to the Protestant that the morals in it are less severe than in the Catholic and Orthodox, the last service in the “black” Church may seem not just strange, and even blasphemous. Indeed, the Orthodox priest during the Liturgy, did not dare to insert in the prayer of a few lines from a new track LJ or Nikita Dzhigurda. For the pastor is “black” Church during the service to read out a rap or pray for the new Beyonce album — the usual thing.

However, a “black” Church is basically not about fun, song and dance. African-American worship is a part of culture of the black population of the United States, which experienced the horrors of slavery and discrimination, but still finds the strength to thank and praise God.We are here because of faith

By the time Africans arrived in the area, which later became the United States of America, they have lost a huge part of their culture and spiritual heritage. The reason was either that they lost their connection with their community and ancestors, or a cruel system of slavery early colonial period, razluchila family.

According to one version, Christianity the Africans had brought with them, it was already common in some parts of Africa. In particular, the traces of Christian mysticism in the North of the mainland scholars date the end of the II century, and part of kingdoms in the Nile valley were Christian to the VII century.

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This is not surprising because Africa was one of the first continents, which spread the teachings of Christ. In Matthew the Holy family to avoid innocents, flees to Egypt, or “country ham”, and finds refuge among its black residents. That is why black slaves was especially offensive that, oppressing them, white slave owners willingly relied on the Scriptures.

According to the gospel, ham is the son of survivors of the flood of Noah was not a very nice person. Seeing his drunk father asleep, he had not covered his nakedness, and went to tell about what they saw brothers. In Christianity, his action was interpreted as a sin — disrespect for the father, rudeness. There are many interpretations of this story, but what matters is how it ended.

For the sin of ham paid his son Canaan, and with it all of the African slaves. According to legend, Noah cursed his grandson, saying, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers” (Genesis 9:25). This line of Scripture used as the argument of white theologians, the defenders of slavery.

The Bible in justification of their actions is often used by the creators of evil. However, before the Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, which says: “there is No more Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female you are all one in Christ Jesus”, the slave owners apparently did not read.

White slave owners quickly forget that they themselves fled Europe from religious persecution, and because until the abolition of slavery, many black Christian churches were outlawed. Just like the first Christians, the Christian slaves were going underground, the so-called peaceful retreats (hush harbors). To coordinate their plans, they used secret codes in particular, have become classics of spiritual culture of the African American song “Steal Away to Jesus” and “Gospel Train”.

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A Church for slaves was not only a place where they could turn to God. Here people can communicate, share news, and most importantly — to get an education. According to the Bible, that the black priests passed white opponents of slavery, slaves learned to read and write.

In the “quiet havens”, it was rare to hear the charges and the threat of retaliation to address the brutal planters. In the sermons said that God sees everything, and punishment will follow from it, and yet everyone needs to follow him.

A distinctive feature of the “black” Church was and remains the language of the sermon is not similar to the one used during worship in “white” churches. It appeared because in their sermons the clergy of encrypted messages that the slave owner was not supposed to recognize. In addition, the priest during the service it was necessary not only to pray but also to entertain, enlighten and tell the congregation about important news, and for such purposes the usual reading of the gospel does not fit.

So the “black” Church initially became not only a place of worship but also a haven where slaves could find solace and justice.Sing, dance and stay away from white

The history of “black” churches is inseparably connected with the movement for the abolition of slavery. She was a big help and support to those who fought for their civil rights. Many famous freedom fighters of African Americans, including Martin Luther king, Jr., were priests.

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First integrated African-American community — the “Free African society” — emerged in Philadelphia in 1787. It has established contacts with religious organizations in other cities. Five years later the members of the Society started building the first independent “black” Church. By this time a large number of States in the Northern U.S. had already abandoned slavery, and the law they didn’t interfere, what can be said about the South of the country where the power of the planters were still extremely high.

Only a century later, in 1865, ended the Civil war and slavery was ended, black people across the country stopped hiding in the “quiet retreats”. And yet the former slaves were not allowed in the Church along with the white: they, for example, had to sit on separate benches. Not all black people were willing to put up with segregation in the House of God, and “black” churches began to spread rapidly in the United States.

However, the reason for the separation was not only segregation and racism, played a great role and features of worship. “Black” service was held in a completely different tempo than “white”. They were emotional, they were woven elements of African culture, stories about the suffering of black slaves and a special southern flavor. The priest is not just preached, he sang a praise song to God, and the congregation sang along with him and supported his cues from the audience.

In 1986, in order to eliminate the influence of white, African-American Church, was organized by the National Baptist congregation. Ten years later, it is already number three million black Americans. The second largest “black” Christian organization was the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In the future the number of such organizations is only growing.Black, run!

Paradoxically, the greater the impact received a “black” Church, the more they were oppressed. By the middle of XX century, when the civil rights movement blacks had gained sufficient strength, the African-American Church became a strong social and political base for the former slaves.

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“Black” churches have become a kind of cornerstone of the African-American civil community this important role allowed them to raise people to fight for their rights. Did, however, not all: some blacks the Holy fathers refused to combine religion and politics.

Soon churches became bastions of resistance and centers of mobilization of the black population, the sites where activists plan struggle for equality. Their involvement became so obvious that they are facing the wrath and fury of those who believed that black people should have separate elevators, and public transportation to sit away from the whites.