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Antonianism: The Catholic Church That Depicts Jesus Christ as a Black Man


Kimpa Vita, an African prophetess who was later burnt alive in 1706, started Antonianism a belief that claimed Jesus Christ is a Black Man and that heaven was for Africans.

Antonianism: Kimpa Vita

She was brought into the world in the Kingdom of Kongo, and when she grew up, she was prepared as a nganga Marinda (somebody who tackles issues locally by consulting the supernatural world).

Her Kingdom, Kongo, was the biggest and most powerful country in Central Africa.

However, in the same way as other African kingdoms, Kongo steadily lost its power when the European ministers showed up with a God and an administration.

As in the fifteenth century, the Portuguese missionaries had spread Roman Catholicism across Kongo, and by the seventeenth century, Portugal held both military and financial control over the Kingdom.

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How the Antonianism movement Started

Kimpa Vita was baptized and given the name Dona Beatriz.

The baptism was said to wash away the first sin she acquired from Eve, and she planned to make heaven until 1704 when she became sick, she claimed that the soul of Saint Anthony of Padua had possessed her and she saw visions.

In view of her cases of dreams and visions from St. Anthony, She later created/invented the religious movement – Antonianism.

This new religion was a mix of Kongo strict rituals, nativism, and Catholicism, which acknowledges and regards the power of the Pope.

Antonianism was distant from the religion the Portuguese teachers brought and true to form, they wouldn’t have it.

Besides their adoration for God, one more plausible explanation of the missionary’s detest of Antonianism was that Donna Beatriz put together her visions with respect to their cherished Portuguese Saint.

They detested her presumption and effrontery! How could Anthony uncover himself as a nganga marinda! It didn’t sound good to them.

And true to their nature Portuguese Church waited for the opportunity to scream HERESY! (belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine).

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To make an already difficult situation even worse, Donna Beatriz’s Antonianism dismissed the Catholic ceremonies of baptism, confession, and prayer.

It likewise rejected the cross, guaranteeing it is to blame for Christ’s death.

Donna Beatriz likewise strongly guaranteed that Kongo was the genuine home of Christianity, that Jesus was a black man, and that heaven was for Africans.

Donna Beatriz asserted that her dreams unveiled that Jesus was brought into the world in Mbanza Kongo and baptized in the northern territory of Nsundi.

The same vision showed that Mary, Jesus’ mom, was a slave who had a place with the Kongolese aristocrat, Nzimba Mpangi.

While prophesying a golden age to her growing devotees, Donna Beatriz called out the European missionaries, saying they were bad and uncaring towards the Kongolese Catholics and their spiritual necessities.

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Antonianism: The Death of Donna Beatriz & Antonianism

Donna Beatriz and her followers Antonians occupied Mbanza Kongo, the revealed birthplace of Jesus Christ, as their headquarters.

From this base, she sent Antonian ministers out for evangelism to win more devotees to their followers.

Besides her religious exercises, Donna Beatriz engaged in politics.

She energized the heads of the different Kongo territories weakened and separated by the Europeans to unite under one King.

She believed that joining the regions would end the nationwide conflict that had been seething since the Portuguese set foot on their territory.

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Pedro IV and the Portuguese Administration that supported him did not like Donna Beatriz’s plan.

They scorned more that she had the religious following and political impact to make it materialize.

She was a danger, a growth they expected to cut off.

Thus, in 1706, the Portuguese Capuchin priests brought their lips near Pedro’s ears and murmured HERESY! Pedro IV gave the order, and Donna Beatriz was tied to a stake and set burning.

Antonianism survived a brief time after Donna Beatriz was killed. In 1708, around 20,000 Antonians declared war on Pedro IV, who crushed them one final time.

Talk Africana

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