Meredith AndrewsCatholicism and its' role in the collapse of the Kongo kingdom. During the late 15th century, the Kingdom of Kongo was first introduced to the Portuguese who would play a large role in the kingdom for decades to come. The Portuguese introduced manynew things to the region: weapons, foreign goods, new language and writing system, along with what some would argue is the most important, a new religion. Didier Gondola believes that the introduction of Catholicism by the Portuguese “created a relation of dependence that sparked dynastic conflicts, civil war, and led eventually to the collapse of the Kingdom.”In 1484, the Kingdom of Kongo first learned of the Portuguese when Diogo Cao and his fleet of ships arrived. The Portuguese were well received by the Kongolese. In 1491, the ruler of the Kongo, Nzinga, and his family were baptized and converted to Christianity. This was just the beginning of Christianity in the kingdom of Kongo, the religion would survive decades. In 1506, King Joao died, and King Afonso took his place. In the beginning of his reign, King Afonso and his son did all they could to "Christianize Kongo and to Africanize Christianity"Many people are surprised to learn that the Kingdom of Kongo voluntarily converted to Christianity instead of being forced into conversion by the Europeans. The early acceptance of Christianity from the Kongolese may be due to many factors. For instance the religious similarities.