• They faced a problem of little and inadequate finances to help them in carrying out their activities.
  • They had a problem of competition and rivalry among themselves especially Protestants and Catholics who competed for followers.
  • The faced a problem of hostile tribes in some places of E.A these were mainly the Nandi and Masai attacked the missionaries and destroyed their property.
  • They had a problem of raids from Arab slave traders who raided the missionaries to interfere with their nwork of stopping slave trade.
  • In some parts of E.A, they were affected by the hostile tropical climatic conditions i.e. it could shine a lot and it could rain heavily something they were not used to.
  • They were also threatened by the wild animals especially lions and leopards which were scaring to them.
  • They were attacked by tropical diseasesi.e. malaria and sleeping sickness which disturbed and killed most of them.
  • They encountered a problem of transport and communication in EA many areas were impenetrable with poor roads.
  • Missionaries faced a challenge of language barrier because most of them never knew African languages and so they could not effectively communicate with Africans
  • They had a problem of being few in number and therefore, they could not spread the gospel effectively in the big E.A. it became so tiresome for them to reach everyone in the region.
  • They faced a problem of fighting against Islam which had already been established in some parts of E.A. it was difficult for the missionaries to change those who had already converted to Islam.
  • They had a problem of theft from robbers, sometimes the porters could disappear with their items especially food which left them helpless and delayed their work.
  • Poor accommodation especially in the new areas of settlement was another problem housing facilities were very poor compared to the facilities they left at home.
  • Missionaries had a problem of Africans being deeply rooted into their culture because it was difficult to
  • convert them to Christianity.
  • They were mistaken to be slave dealers and therefore some people could run away from them and other could harm them which affected their work.
  • Slave trade which caused insecurity was another problem to the missionaries. This is because people run away from their home making it hard for the missionaries to preach to them.
  • Some missionaries lost their lives in East Africa and this threatened others from coming to spread the gospel for example Albert cook who died of malaria in Uganda.
  • Their home countries sometimes delayed to supply them with food and medicine which made their work and life difficult in East Africa.
  • The faced a problem of geographical barriers for example heavy thick forests, mountains and valleys which were so difficult to cross over hence delaying their work.
  • Some missionaries lacked geographical knowledge of east Africa which also interfered with their evangelical journeys as some of them got lost on the way.
  • They had a problem of wars which also delayed their work of spreading the gospel e.g. the famous religious wars in Buganda killed some of them and made Africans to hate them.
  • Colonialism was other problem missionaries faced i.e. some Africans suspected the missionaries to be agents of European colonialism and so they refused to join Christianity.
  • In some societies missionaries had a problem of hostile chiefs, and kings e.g. in Buganda Kabaka Mwangaeven wanted to kill them.


  1. Discuss the challenges/ obstacles the missionaries’ encountered in East Africa. (25 marks)
  2. Examine the factors that delayed /interfered with missionary work in East Africa. (25 marks)
  3. Account for the failures of missionary work in East Africa. (25 marks)(weakness)


  1. Kanyesigye Robert

    Good work well done. But didn’t answer my question which reads : How did Islam create way of Christianity in Uganda.

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