The Kingdom of God and the Fate of Unbaptized Africans: A Theological Reflection

Anthony Kofi Anomah


This article delves into a theological reflection of the delicate question of the Kingdom of God and the fate of unbaptised persons who die without receiving baptism. The Church, since earliest times, has baptised both infants and adults with the belief that baptism is necessary for salvation. However, since Vatican II, the Church has also taught that even though baptism is necessary for salvation, there are other means through which people could receive supernatural grace necessary for salvation if through no fault of theirs, baptism is not made available to them before they die. They include those who died before the birth, passion, death and resurrection of Christ and persons of non-Christian origin (e.g. Jews, Muslims, adherents of African Traditional Religion, Buddhists, etc). God intended salvation for all people and leaves no stone unturned to make it available to all who desire or have the capacity to accept it. The Church teaches that those who are genuinely ignorant of Christ’s Church and the Gospel message and had no opportunity to hear the Word of God, but desired to be baptised may through the mercy of God attain salvation. Thus, unbaptised Africans and all those who through no fault of theirs did not receive the grace of baptism while they lived may also be saved whether they were adherents of African Traditional Religion or no religion at all, in as much as they searched for God in sincerity of heart, tried their best to do God’s will and followed the dictates of their conscience (Hardon 1975).

Keywords: Kingdom, unbaptised, Africans, salvation

DOI: 10.7176/JPCR/42-05

Publication date:March 31st 2019

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