International News

Only in Print: ‘Jesus Mafa’ Paintings Share Gospel, Depict Jesus as Black Man

The Gospel receives full treatment in 65 paintings that comprise “Vie de Jesus Mafa.” Translated from French,
it means “Life of Jesus Mafa.” The collection was made during the 1970s in Cameroon to help the Mafa people who sought Gospel teaching through images of their own cultural resonances. (Photo: Vanderbilt University)

WHITESTONE — When one searches “Jesus Mafa,” scenes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ materialize on a computer screen. But the people in these Gospel story depictions are not from the first-century Holy Land where Jesus walked. Instead, they represent the Mafa culture of northern Cameroon. 

The scenes depict 1970s West Central Africa with women clad in long, flowing pieces of brightly…

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