The term black church refers to that which gave shape to the religious experiences of many blacks in America, originally combining African religious heritage with European Christianity. In the 18th century, many blacks converted to Christianity and developed their own style of “slave religion” Christian theology. As blacks have received political freedom, they have also formed a unique Christian identity of faith in God's deliverance from oppression. As the black church engages social justice issues today, these theological foundations continue to shape the black church identity.


The black church, originating from the religious, cultural, and social past of blacks, gave structure and identity to millions of enslaved Africans in America. As 17th-century slave codes prohibited blacks from church membership, they incorporated their African religious heritage ...

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