Tuesday, March 06, 2012

African Churches a good Community Resource

The African community life in Winnipeg is centred around the church. People appear to be very religious and take religion seriously at least on Sundays. This does not stop the bickering and in-fighting among the various groups but when it comes to praising God they are there singing their hearts out and raising their hands while chanting Amen.
Each community it seems establishes its own church and appear to shun the mainstream churches and stick to their community churches where masses are held in the various languages and the cultural aspect of singing and dancing are incorporated into the program.
The Church also is more than a meeting place, they reach out to newcomers with the welcoming mat and assist in their settlement and integration in Canadian society. 
For many it is an easier transition to be able to commiserate with people from their own culture with whom language is not a barrier.  The flip side of this is that they may stick to their community without the benefit of getting to integrate and understand people from various cultural groups.  Being part of a close-knit group has its advantages and disadvantages and one of the disadvantages is that gossip can create discord and  when a person does not toe the community standard they can become isolated and with no one else to turn to they can easily slip into depression.
I think while in the beginning newcomers may take advantage of their community resources, this should not be their final destination, they should make a concerted effort to get to know people from different cultures and backgrounds to enjoy living in Winnipeg's mosaic and expand their horizons.  Check out the article below to learn how African churches are contributing.

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