Roman Catholic Church in Kongo

Roman Catholic Church In Kongo

Roman Catholic Church in Kongo

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The Roman Catholic Church arrived in the Kingdom of Kongo shortly after the first Portuguese explorers reached its shores in 1483. After an exchange of hostages, the ruling king, Nzinga a Nkuwu agreed to allow missionaries to come to his country and to learn more about Christianity. The missionaries arrived early in 1491, and baptized the provincial ruler of Soyo whose lands were located on the Atlantic coast, before moving to the royal capital in April and May. According to Portuguese accounts, Nzinga a Nkuwu was further convinced to the Christian message when he witnessed what he and the priests both regarded as a miracle: two of the king's subjects dreamed simultaneously of beautiful woman who urged the king to be baptized, and a third one reported finding a cross shaped stone near a riverbed (normally considered a particularly auspicious spot in Kongo cosmology).

Nzinga a Nkuwu was baptized on 3 May 1491, taking the name João in honor of the Portuguese king (João II) as were many of his officials and nobles and, after some hesitation, the women of the royal and allied households. Further missionaries arrived at the court of Nzinga a Nkuwu, and a good number also accompanied his son Afonso Mvemba a Nzinga to his provincial post of Nsundi. Afonso, in turn became a great champion of the faith, even though, according to Afonso's subsequent account of the events, his father cooled in the faith, and many of the Kongolese who had been baptized turned away.

Reign of King......

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