Christianity’s Contributions: Slavery abolished (Part 1)

Another aspect of Christianity’s contributions is the abolition of slavery due to Christianity.  All cultures have had slavery through time, but only one religion helped remove it from culture: Christianity.

Through history, slavery was common due to the consequences of war.  These slaves were actually prisoners of war, but instead of being imprisoned, they were put to work as forced labor.  This was common in African and Arab countries before spreading to Europe eventually.  By the time of Christ, slaves comprised over 50% of the Roman Empire.

Knowing this is essential to combat the notion that slavery is exclusively an American or White institution.  In North America, slavery was common among the American Indians before Columbus reached the shores.  When slaves were imported to the New World, the majority of African slaves did not go to America.  According to How Christianity Changed the World by Dr. Alvin Schmidt, here are the percentages of African slaves in New World:

British, French, and Spanish Caribbean colonies—47%

Brazil—41%

America—7%

Dutch, Danish and Swedish colonies—5%

While 7% of African slaves went to America, slavery was not part of the whole nation, nor did all Whites own slaves.  Only 25% of Southerners owned slaves.  Due to abolitionists and the Civil War, slavery was outlawed in America (1865).  It was also outlawed in other countries throughout the years due to the influence of Christianity: Ethiopia in 1942; Saudi Arabia in 1962; Peru in 1964; and India in 1976.  Sadly, it is still in parts of the world today.

Why did the Christians change the culture regarding slavery?  More on that in the next blog.

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May 04, 2016

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