Articles on Nations:
Alcohol Prayer Initiative 2009, New York
CAN EUROPE BE SAVED?
CHURCH SUPPORTING POLITICS
CONGO-KINSHASA, A REMARKABLE CONFERENCE
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF AFRICA
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF AMSTERDAM
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF AUSTRALIA
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF BELGIUM
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF BRAZIL
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF FRANCE
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF HUNGARY
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF KOREA
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF SOUTH AFRICA
CORPORATE IDENTITY of SWEDEN
CORPORATE IDENTITY OF THE USA
COVERING AN AREA WITH PRAYER
Dialogue with Jacques Ellul
DURBAN II ≈ EVIAN III; NEW ANTISEMITISM
EUROPA – AFRIKA; Indrukwekkende Conferentie
EUROPA – AFRIKA; verzoeningsconferentie dvd
EUROPE - AFRICA; Berlin Congo I: Hist. Overview
EUROPE - AFRICA; Berlin Congo II: Report
EUROPE - AFRICA; Neo-Imperialism
Gebed voor de koning
GEBEDSBEDEKKING VAN EEN GEBIED
GOD'S COVENANT WITH ALL NATIONS
HOW TO DEFEND WHICH BORDERS OF ISRAEL?
ISRAEL’s RESPONSIBILITY 1
ISRAEL’s RESPONSIBILITY 2
ISRAEL’s RESPONSIBILITY 3
ISRAEL’s RESPONSIBILITY 4
Landbelofte of staatbelofte?
LOVING THE CITY GOD'S WAY
MIRACLES AT CITY SCALE
NATIVE AMERICANS, THREE DRAMA'S
NESTOR AFRICAN PRESIDENTS FORGIVES EUROPE
SLAVERY AND HEALING
SPIRITUAL ASPECTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
THE CITY AS BEAUTIFUL AS SHE COULD BE
THE CITY, AND WHY CITY PRAYER?
TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE PACIFIC
TWO CITIES DEDICATED TO KING JESUS
ÜBERSETZUNG THE NATIONS CALLED
VERZOENING MET NATIVE AMERICANS
WHY IS AFRICA SO POOR?
ZES LANDEN RIJNPROJECT
ZONDER VERZOENING GEEN TOEKOMST
Articles on Society:
A REVEALING UN-MEETING
A strategic assault on this generation of children
BOEK BOS ANTIDEMOCRATISCH?
CHILDREN OF THE WORLD TARGETED
COPENHAGEN – Five questions
COPENHAGEN - No bread from stones
Copenhagen, where do we go from here?
DE ANDERE AGENDA VAN DE DALAI LAMA
DE OLYMPISCHE SPELEN
EU: HUMANISME VERSUS “GOD”
EUROPA, WAAROM DIE NAAM?
EUROPE, WHAT'S IN THE NAME?
EVROPA - CO SKRÝVÁ TO JMÉNO?
EYPΩΠH, TI KPYBETAI ΣTO ONOMA
HER-MYTHOLOGISERING INTERNATIONALE POLITIEK?
Informed intercession for the UN
Jezus dienaar van Moeder Aarde?
KERK-STAAT VERHOUDING 1
KERK-STAAT VERHOUDING 2
KERK-STAAT VERHOUDING 3 (EU-Referendum)
KERK-STAAT VERHOUDING 4
Massa op Malieveld; nee toch?
MICRO FINANCING AND GRACE
MONDIALE SCHUDDINGEN I
MONDIALE SCHUDDINGEN II
Obama 1: Obama en het leven
Obama 2: Door Obama een les voor de kerk
PRAYING FOR THE G8
PULLING DOWN STRONGHOLDS
RE-MYTHOLOGISATION 0 OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS?
RE-MYTHOLOGISATION 1: CHURCH-STATE/GOD-STATE
RE-MYTHOLOGISATION 2: GOD-STATE LINK IN OUR TIME
RE-MYTHOLOGISATION 3: EU AND UN “COVENANTS”
RE-MYTHOLOGISATION 4:GOD-STATE IN NEAR FUTURE
RE-MYTHOLOGISATION 5: WHAT ABOUT GOD’S MASTER PLAN
THINKING AND BELIEVING IN THE CHURCH
THINKING, BELIEVING AND SCIENCE
UN-DUURZAAMHEIDS TOP IN JOHANNESBURG
WHAT HAPPENS AT UN CONFERENCES?
WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
A NATION AS A TREE?
Belijden van de zonden van je land?
BIDDEN VOOR HOOGGEPLAATSTEN
BLOED SCHREEUWT VAN DE AARDE
GODEN DER VOLKEN
'GODS OF THE NATIONS'
HERSTEL VAN HET ALTAAR
HET KRUIS VAN JEZUS
JEZUS KOMT - drie voordrachten
NBV, COMMENTAAR OP ÉÉN ASPECT
OOK TOPCONFERENTIES IN DE BIJBEL GAAN OVER VOLKEN
THE CROSS OF JESUS
THE GLORY OF HIERARCHY
TITHING AND ETERNITY
SLAVERY AND HEALING
by: Pieter Bos
The old pain of slavery and the beginning of healing
Report on the
"CONFERENCE ON RECONCILIATION AND DEVELOPMENT "
held December 2-5 1999, at Cotonou, Benin
initiated by the President of the Republic of Benin, Mr. Matieu Kerekou.
Participant / reporter Pieter Bos, Serving the Nations, Almere, The Netherlands.
Aim of the conference:
The main aim of the conference was reconciliation between Africans and Afro-Americans. Many Afro-Americans have a deep hatred towards Africans because of what the Africans did onto "their brothers" by selling them into such cruel slavery. By taking publically responsibility for this behavior, and by calling pain pain, the President created an atmosphere in which reconciliation could start. And it really started. The President emphasized repeatedly: "Reconciliation can only really take place on the basis of forgiveness, and forgiveness is based upon the forgiveness which we receive from God. Only then reconciliation can produce cooperation.Therefore this conference is not an economic conference (to attract American tourists and investments) but a spiritual conference."
From all nations with any involvement in slave trade and slavery the President had invited delegations, comprising of representatives of the government, parliament, business world and prayer movement (the latter because in many countries prayer leaders have been catalitic in processes of reconciliation). All participants were the guest of the President. By far the largest delegation was the Afro-American one, 180. Then about 50 participants from Benin, 40 other West-Africans, 30 white Americans and 11 Europeans (from 6 nations). Among those from West-Africa and the Carabean there were 3 presidents, 2 vice-presidents, 3 chairmen of their national parliament; further from the USA two senators, from the UK an MP of the House of Lords, from France a former cabinet-minister.
Efforts of the author to invite three MP's and the Lord Mayors of two slave trading cities to join the Dutch delegation, failed. Nevertheless, he did not go alone; re "The Dutch Deputation."
The hatred and suspicion of Afro-Americans verses Africans is the result of three centuries of slave trade and slavery and kept alive through one century of discrimination. Thirty years after Dr. Martin Luther King the hatred and suspicion is still very present, especially in the South of the US; but more and more words are found to express it.
The visit to historic locations of slave trade was very confrontational, for all parties present. We walked the "slave route" from the slave market till the beach of embarkation. We stood at the dungeon where the victims were held captive for six to twelve weeks before being shipped off, naked and without sanitation, packed in tropical temparature and in complete darkness, with one meal per night, and torture for those who cried. Also the voodoo ritual was explained, geared to make the slaves forget what had happened to them, but at the same time to make their spirits after death return to their home land. The "slave route" continues along the mass grave for the weak ones, a swamp, and finishes at the beach at the "Gate Of No Return". All were shattered.
The Afro-Americans hardly could grasp the depth with which they were touched, the very depth of their corporate identity. They had come to forgive, and to be reconciled to their (corporate) past, but this intent was deeply challenged. The humility of the president, and of his cabinet-ministers, MP's and top officials, and the faith of the Afro-Americans, made the miracle of reconciliation possible, with many dramatic and tearful moment, both in and outside the protocol.
High lights of the conference.
(1) The visit to the slave route, and later the ceremony at the beach, with a Benin cabinet minster and Beninese and Nigerian intercessor leaders kneeling before the Afro-Americans in confession and prayer.
(2) The President explicitely took responsibility for the behavior of his forbears concerning slave trade (Benin used to be much larger and more powerful than in our time). Even after the formal closing of the conference he called another twelve Afro-Americans to personally ask them whether they could digest the flow of the conference and how they possibly could pass on this experience in the US.
(3) Senator Tony Hall (VS) was ashamed about the tough resistence in the senate and by his president against officially issuing "a simple apology" concerning the slavery.
(4) Mr. Michael Fenton Jones (UK), on behalf of the International Christian Chamber of Commerce, took responsibility for the English share (about 50%) in the world slave trade.
(5) Lord David Alton (UK, MP) presented on behalf of the Lord Mayor and the City Council of the citi of Liverpool an official declaration, passed unanimously, by which the city of Liverpool takes responsibility for her share in the slave trade.
(6) Pieter Bos (Holland) read the text concerning the Dutch share in the slave trade, on behalf of a large interdenominational gathering just a week earlier (Re: "The Dutch Deputation."
The parts 2, 4, 5 and 6 attracted lots of attention, including African and American media coverage. They were appreciated as exemplatory in the area of taking responsibility for historic sins by public, political and church bodies.
The Dutch Deputation.
During the month of November 1999, around 3000 leaders and members of almost all churches in The Netherlands gathered together to confess to God the sins of the nation, both historic and current sins, and to ask Him forgiveness and plead for mercy. These meetings were called "Millennium Prayer."
The liturgy of these meetings included one section on slave trade. After re-instating the commandments in Isa. 58:6,7 and Matt. 5:9, the confession reads as follows:
"Nevertheless, we have put whole peoples under the yoke of slavery; we allowed greed and a sense of superiority to turn us into oppressors; in this we abused your holy Name.
We chased many tens of thousands of men, women and children form Africa as if they were cattle, we chained them and stowed them into ships. Above them the Dutch flag was flown and in the captain's cabin your Word lay open. We drowned them cruelly as that was convenient, we traded them at market places and enslaved them at our plantations. Against you we have sinned."
In the final and main meeting purposely Dr. Pieter Bos was asked to lead the congregation in this confession, thus officially deputating him to attend the BENIN RECONCILIATION CONFERENCE and to let both the Africans and the Afro-Americans know how the Church in The Netherlands feels about slave trade and slavery: "We confess this as sin and ask for forgiveness."
In other words: the efforts to compose a delegation, that would include politicians, failed. But un-asked for a very real and "heavy" deputation came instead.
Conclusion: The key to healing.
The key to healing of the corporate wound of Afro-Americans is the recognition of all parties involved of pain and wounds as such, to admit and verbalise and own the (corporative, historic) responsibility, and, in the midst of the pain, ask forgiveness, extend forgiveness and receive forgiveness. This is a process.
By this conference and by his attitude the President Kerekou has created the conditions for such a process. This and similar meetings clearly have a healing effect, for the participants and for their environment in the "Black Diaspora".
The Project "The Voyage." In November november 2000 some 550 Afro-Americans will "sail back" from the States along the traditional slave ports to the "Gate Of No Return" at the beach of Benin.
Also (official, Dutch/European?) delegations to the "black hotspots" in the US are in preparation, to those places where the pain is still felt, but the means to "sail back" fail.
Both and similar projects aim at the same objective: to create for the descendants of former slaves an opportunity for reconciliation, so that the "Black Diaspora" and the white community can clear up their painful past, and so that Afro-Americans can reconcile with their brothers in Africa. For many Afro-Americans this conference was, with all the unexpected emotions, a "coming home."