John Wesley: Church Mission Struggle in the Fight against Slave Trade
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AbstractSeveral scholars have studied the impact of slave trade and its impetus on John Wesley (1703-1791) the founder of Methodism's zeal for mission endeavour. This paper is an attempt to discuss the historical implications of John Wesley's mission passion throughout the time of slavery and specifically the role that Christianity played in that endeavour. Christian slavery refers to slave trade that was driven by adherents of this religion. The article is divided into five subsections: Introduction, John Wesley the man against slavery, the role of religion in slave trade, from slavery to abolition to missionizing of Africans and a conclusion. First, John Wesley the founder of Wesleyan movements including Methodism is discussed and his role in the fight against slavery. The paper delves into how religion (Christianity) was used to advance and fight against slave trade. The paper offers a critical review discussing the origins of slavery, its operations and specifically the role played by Rev. John Wesley in influencing the abolition of slave trade. The paper touches briefly the subsequent mission endeavours in the slave plantations and concludes by challenging Christians and especially Christian leaders to be sensitive to this history's impact on the advancement of God's mission work in the present century.