Akha Chronicles
Book 1: Maesai
Chapter 21: An Akha Theology

 

An Akha Theology?

 

The problem of missions and truth

What is the truth?

What do we believe?

What should we be doing?

 

Missionaries often accuse me that I am anti God. No, I just don’t believe like they do.

 

But I have often wondered why they approach the Akha community in the way they do.

 

Let us say that we believe in Jesus Christ. Well from what I learned of Jesus, I sure would be trying to help the Akha community, not trying to destroy their identity. Ok, any community can learn more compassion, can take deeper care of each other, and this is certainly the teachings of Jesus. But one doesn’t see this getting taught in the villages either. More than likely greed and Christian capitalism is being taught as the gospel, how to get more for yourself.

 

The teachings of Jesus are not inappropriate to Akha life. But Christianity as we know it in the mission mind, certainly is. Bring up race, bring it up immediately, black people in the west, in Africa, in colonies, in profiling, in prisons, in poverty and suddenly the missionary gets uncomfortable. Draw the connections of race.  A white missionary from Georgia, the Akha just another black man.

 

So in a few words, if the Akha believed in what Jesus taught, what would it look like, and where would it take them.

 

Greater care to their own communities, learning how to better protect their identities, not the total surrender that the missionaries call for by vilifying everything that it means to be Akha.  The Akha talked of this, how Paul Lewis was expert at showing just enough of the Akha to shape an opinion that they were bad people, deficient people.

 

End

Have a comment or question? Like to know more? Send me an email at akha@akha.org
Copyright 2004, by Matthew McDaniel