Antonian Heresy

Antonian Heresy

 

a popular movement in the Congo in the early 18th century that sought the reunification of the Congolese state and opposed European incursions and the Catholic clergy. The movement developed in the form of a Christian heresy; its leader was the woman heresiarch (Christian name Beatrice) who called herself St. Antonius. She taught that the Congo was the homeland of Jesus and all the saints and that the Catholic clergy, out of profound hostility to the Bakongo people, had hidden this fact from the people. Under the leadership of Beatrice, her followers began to reestablish the state’s ancient capital, Mbanza Congo (now Sāo Salvador, Angola). Beatrice herself became the subject of a cult and was rendered divine homage. In early 1706, with the aid of missionaries, the Bakongo nobility, frightened by the threat of a popular uprising, captured the leaders of the movement and publicly burned them (July 1, 1706). This savage reprisal provided the impetus for open rebellion against the royal regime and high Bakongo nobility. The movement did not decline until the middle of 1708. It was finally suppressed in the beginning of 1709.

Mentioned in ?