The Influence of Christianity over
The Native Americans are the " veriest Ruines of Mankind"....they "must be civilized e'er they could be Christianized." ~ Puritan Cotton Mather
Indians must "have visible civility before they can rightly enjoy visible sanctities in ecclesiastical communion." ~John Eliot
- The Christians and the US Government had mixed feelings about the Native Americans from the very beginning.
-The US government worked tightly with the churches in the early nineteenth century to "civilize" the
-Congress passed a bill establishing a Civilization Fund in 1918, providing $10,000 towards the annual instructing of Native Americans in literacy, agriculture, and house-hold duties according to the Christians.
-The country was perplexed, however, over whether or not to assimilate the Native Americans into the prevailing culture or just to remove them completely from society.
-Many of the Christian missionaries supported the latter not because they felt the Native Americans were inspirer, but for the safety of the Native Americans from the abusive whites.
-During and after the Native Americans were moved around many times the Christian missionaries were there trying and succeeding in many cases to convert them from their native religions to Christianity.
-It wasn't uncommon for the missionaries to learn the native language of a tribe to aid them in the conversion from the Native American religion to Christianity.
-The traditions and practices of the Native Americans is very much what makes them a defined culture, without their religion many believe the people are not truly Native American.
return to main page