Interesting letter written by King Leopold II of Belgium to the missionaries traveling to the Congo in 1883 to spread Christianity

"Reverend Fathers and Dear Compatriots; The task asked of you to accomplish is very delicate and demands much tact and  diplomacy.  Fathers,  you  are  going  to  preach  the  Gospel,  but  your preaching must be inspired by first, the interest of the Belgium government state.  -  The main goal of your mission in the Congo is not to teach the Negro the  knowledge  of  God,  because  they  already  know  him.  They  talk  and commit  themselves  to  their  God.  They  know  that  killing, stealing, adultery and blasphemy are not good.

Your role essentially will be to easily facilitate the task of the administrative and industrial personnel. That is to say, you will interpret the gospel in a way to protect and serve the interest of Belgium, in that part of the world. To do so you will see that our savages be not interested in the riches that their soil possesses  in  order  that they not want them.  Thus,  they  be  not  involved  in murderous competition with us and dream to live a luxurious life.  -  Your  knowledge  of  the scriptures  will  help  us  to  use  special texts that recommended the infidels to love poverty such as, “The Beatitudes”, “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”; and "It is impossible for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven”.   -  You will do all that you can to cause the Negro to fear being rich in order that they may go to heaven. From time to time, keep them from rebelling and keep them in fear that you will  use violence. You  will  teach  them  to  endure anything, even  when  they are  insulted  or beaten  by your  compatriots  (administrative). 

You  will  teach them  that  whosoever  uses vengeance  is  not  a  child  of  God.  You  will cause them  to follow the  example  of  the Saints who  turned  the  other  cheek. You will take them away from anything or any act that gives them the courage to confront  us.  I  am alluding  myself  here  to  their  magic,  i.e., Ju-Ju,  Voodoo.   -   They should not feel like abandoning their Ju-Ju, and you will do your best to take them away at the same time. Your  action  will  be  essentially  on  the younger  people  that  they  might  not rebel. If the commandments of the Father is in conflict with what the parents teach,  the child should  learn  to  obey  what  the  missionary teaches  him because he is the father of his soul. We must force them into submission and obedience.

Dear compatriots, these are some of the principles you must apply. You will find  many more  in  the  book  that  will  be  given  to you  at  the  end  of  this session.  Teach  the Gospel  to  the  Negroes  in  an  African  style, in  order  that they are kept submissive to the White colonist. They  would  not  rebel against the  injustice  done  to  them  by  the  colonist. Make them always meditate on “Blessed be those that who weep, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Convert the Africans always by means of  the whip. Keep  their  wives  in submission  for  nine  months,  so  they  can work  for  you graciously.  Require  from  them an  offering  of  recognition  to  you;  goats, chickens, eggs, each time you visit their village. Avoid, by all means, the Blacks becoming rich. Cause them to sing each and every  day  say  that  it’s  “Impossible  for  a rich  man  to  enter  Heaven”.  

Make them pay tithes each Sunday for church. Utilize this money that is intended for  the poor,  for  our  own  business  investments. Institute  a  system  of confession,  which  will make  you  good  detectives  in  order  to denounce/put down every Black which has a spirit of rebellion against the system.  -  Teach the Negroes that their statues are works of the devil, confiscate them and  fill  our  museums with  them.  Teach  the  Negro  to  forget about  their heroes  in  order  to  worship  and give  praise  to  ours.  Don’t  give  a  seat  to a Negro when they come to see you, at the most just give him a cigarette.  -  Don’t  invite him  to  break  bread  with  you,  even  if  he gave  you  a  chicken every  time  you  went to see  him.  Consider  all  blacks  as  little children,  and require  from  them  to  refer  to you  as  father. 

My  dear  compatriots;  if  you apply  to  the letter  all  this,  the  interest  of  Belgium  in the  Congo  will  be protected for many centuries. I thank you."

King Leopold II of Belgium.

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Interesting letter written by King Leopold II of Belgium to the missionaries traveling to the Congo in 1883 to spread Christianity

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