The traditional African understanding and the interpretation of Christianity have deep roots in these fundamental beliefs of the African traditional religions. African Traditional Religions are still practiced today, along with Christianity and Islam. In the same vein, the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews explains that Christ made his sacrifice through a tabernacle that was superior to the tabernacle of the Ark of the Covenant. However the most dominant ones in Ghana and Africa are Islam and Christianity, both accounting for more than 90% of religious adherents, with the rest, including traditional beliefs, having less than 10% of adherents. The harsh circumstances under which most slaves lived—high death rates, the separation of families and tribal groups, and the concerted effort of white owners to eradicate "heathen" (or non-Christian) customs—rendered the preservation of religious traditions difficult and often unsuccessful. The traditional medical sector has continued to grow despite the attempts by early Christian missionaries and others to suppress it; and it has continued to grow because traditional healers are successful in curing a large number of illnesses. Its culture centers around the ethnic groups and their family traditions. Sources. This empirical knowledge has been developed through trial and error, experimentation and systematic observation over a long period of time. God is not concerned with purely personal affairs but with matters of national and international importance. The traditional African religions (or traditional beliefs and practices of African people) are a set of highly diverse beliefs that include various ethnic religions.. Generally, these traditions are oral rather than scriptural, include belief in a supreme creator, belief in spirits, veneration of the dead, use of magic and traditional African medicine. Some denominations accept polygamy. I have also wondered about the future tellers/ prophets or people with visions in our church where do they fit in? West African fetish priest with talismans sewn on his hat and "batakari jacket. Chapter: (p.11) CHAPTER 1 “Our Religion and Superstition Was All Mixed Up” Source: Black Magic Author(s): Yvonne P. Chireau Publisher: University of California Press Traditional African cultural practices paved the way for foreign way of doing things as Africans became fully ‘westernised’. Adherents of traditional religions in sub-Saharan Africa are distributed among 43 countries and are estimated to number over 100 million.. For decades all manner of people and circumstances conspired against African Americans even hearing the gospel, let alone responding to it in freedom and joy. In short, Christianity and Islam coexist harmoniously with traditional African religion. Although the traditional religions in West Africa have individuals and supernatural beings who contributed to the richness of their respective belief systems, each lack any identifiable founding figure. Consequently, circumcision and the offering of the blood of animals were no longer necessary. I am not saying that converts to Christianity from African traditional beliefs practice polygamy, I am presuming your original purpose is to clarify what is acceptable and workable within Christianity for the purpose of dialogue and what is not. African Americans: Enslaved Africans brought their religious traditions with them to the United States, which included principally traditional indigenous African religions. Many Africans who became Christians found it difficult to abandon their religion and medicine completely. Juxtaposing Ahura Mazda against Ahriman, Zoroaster viewed human life in a cosmolog… Traditional African religion is very popular and arrived here with our North and West African ancestors. Due to the impact of Christian missionaries during the British colonial period of Kenya's history, the majority of Kenyans today are Christian. The African metaphysic, to be sure, is a theistic metaphysic; yet it does not nurture a theistic or supernatural ethic. The first African captives entered England’s North American colonies through Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. A new report reveals that the vast majority of South Africans describe their religious affiliation as ‘Christian’ while 5.2% say that they are not affiliated to any religion in particular. West Africa. I wish to point out that for many religions, the natural world is understood as a source of teaching, guidance, visionary inspiration, revelation of power about the supernatural being who is the source of beliefs system. Although traditional beliefs and practices vary in detail among Kenya's ethnic groups, they share many general characteristics. If we want to assist some of the African believers in townships and rural communities to have a more mature faith, we must help them to develop a Christianity that empowers them to encounter God through faith in Christ. Christianization. Traditional African Education Watkins (1943: 666-675), Ociti (1973), Scanlon (1964), Mbiti (1967), Kenyata (1965), Boateng (1983: 335-336) and others have described traditional systems of African education prior to the coming of Islam and Christianity, using several African cultures or societies. Syncretic mixing of Christian and traditional African religious beliefs ; Use of faith-healing and revelation through dreams ; Riverine baptism ; Ritual garments, often mostly white, and prophetic staffs. Second, there is no culture which is superior to another, meaning that teaching the Christian faith to African people through the medium of Western culture, as many missionaries did on the grounds that traditional African culture was primitive, was a wrong approach, even if the intentions were good. The need is for sound and genuine dialogue, involving negotiations whenever necessary. since 2007 I have been asking searching , maybe not searching enough but this is one aspect that unsettles me and I feel spiritually imbalanced because I am not getting answers. Talismans contains verses from the Holy Koran. They might also adopt New World native beliefs if natives were also being used for slave labor. It is often combined with elements of Christianity and Islam. ... His mix of Christian, Anglican, and traditional practices attracted many followers. Moreover, Christian slave owners frequently forbade the practice of pagan religions (even when they also forbade conversion to Christianity). The point that was often made by early Christian leaders that many African religious rites and rituals and many of their cultural practices are against Christian faith and morals is, in fact, not correct. What are the implications of this discussion for African Christians? Abstract. Religious toleration. This bitter conflict has led to wanton destruction of lives and property, and this has become a source of great worry to the writers. Some, like Lubwama, are born to Christian families but take up a traditional religion later in life. People pray to God through their ancestors. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption (Acts 9:12). The major sources of non-scientific or subjective knowledge are the various spirits believed to play a part in health. Approximately 90% of the population attends religious services once a week. African Indian mix. Africa ~ An Influx of Cultures. In fact, what may be called the first Council of the Church was held to deal with this very issue. Many African Christians have continued to participate in traditional religious rituals; they have also continued to consult traditional healers. “Although Christianity and Islam have added distinct elements to African religions, each has been and continued to be adapted to and shaped by Africa’s indigenous religious heritage” [Ambrose Moyo, 2007:326 “Religion in Africa” in G&G. A Catholic woman sings during Mass at a church in Garissa, Kenya. The ancestral spirits, on the other hand, are concerned with the day-to-day affairs of their descendants. While indigenous people are on their land reserves, they are outside of the Brazilian law. Traditional African religion is very popular and arrived here with our North and West African ancestors. The way forward for the Christian church is to examine carefully African religion and medicine and other cultural aspects, with a view to identifying clearly those practices that are not against Christian faith and morals and incorporate them into modern medicine and Christian worship; if possible, the should also try to find a way out of what are considered non-Christian rites and other cultural practices. There is no space here to comment on the issue in anything like sufficient detail. In four countries, for instance, half or more of the population believes that sacrifices to ancestors or spirits can protect them from harm. Moyo remarks: An African Christian theology is in the making in the faith and practice of the African Christian. Interestingly, many Christian and Muslim followers also retain elements of traditional African religions within their respective beliefs. Paul urges all of us to develop a mature faith, to no longer live as the Gentiles do: Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ (See Ephesians 4:14-17). The hominid race was walked the land of Africa around 8 million to 5 million years ago. African religion does not encourage belief in witchcraft; it merely accepts the fact that witches exist in Africa. For over 200 years, Africans, largely from the west coast of Africa, were brought to the United States in the slave trade. While there are many religions in Nigeria, this African country is primarily divided between the two most dominant world’s religions, Islam and Christianity. and somewhere between Mongolia and Azerbaijan. Early Christian missionaries in sub-Saharan Africa were less exacting than the missionaries of the 19th century. Rites of Passage – In the rites of passage, African traditional religions played a significant role.These included marriage rituals which entered adulthood, birth and death. Updated July 12, 2017. Place where slaves were taken from. By this the apostles meant that Gentile Christians did not have to adopt Jewish traditions. However, it’s Nigeria that is perhaps the most interesting. In recent years a number of African scholars have shown that many traditional practices that Christian churches eliminated or tried to eliminate were not, in fact, against Christian faith and morals. They derive from traditional African religions with some influence from other religious traditions, notably Christianity . It is difficult to separate African medicine from African … For instance, corruption and poverty are extreme on the continent. In other words, the theory not only attempts to explain illness and disease but also the relations between God and the niverse. Umbanda, an Afro-Brazilian religion, can trace much of its foundation back to traditional West African practices; enslaved people brought their traditions to Brazil with them, and over the years, melded these practices with those of the South American native population.As slaves of African descent came into more contact with colonial settlers, they began … The traditional belief systems, spirituality and faith of West African peoples has been described in more or less disparaging terms over the course of history, broad terms that fail to reflect the complexity and depth of these beliefs: “paganism”, “animism”, “ancestor-worship”, “idolatry”, “fetishism”, “heathenism”, etc. African diaspora religions are a number of related religions that developed in the Americas in various nations of the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Southern United States. However the most dominant ones in Ghana and Africa are Islam and Christianity, both accounting for more than 90% of religious adherents, with the rest, including traditional beliefs, having less than 10% of adherents. It is often combined with elements of Christianity and Islam. Dependence on traditional beliefs and practices such as those just mentioned is an indication of faith that is still immature, still in its infancy. Since Christianity came in contact with the traditional religion, there has always been a sharp conflict between traditionalists and Christians. I am just happy to let you know that here is the very best publication i have got read through during my individual daily life and may be he greatest pdf for ever. African elders offering a bull as sacrifice to God. This group - originally called "Chris-lam-herb" for its mix-and-match approach to Christianity, Islam, and traditional medicine - is a window on an ongoing religious ferment in Africa. For Vine Deloria, assimilation is the inevitable outcome whenever Indigenous religions and Christianity interact. Many plant medicines recommended by traditional healers are correct even when judged by modern scientific methods. Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa has known a thousand years of cohabitation with traditional religion and adaptation to it, even to the extent of intermixture. He also saw an evil force in the Universe called Ahriman (Angra Mainyu). Hence, it cannot be avoided in the interaction between Christianity and African Traditional Religion. Third, Jesus said he came not to abolish the law and the prophets, but to fulfil them (Mt 5:17). Lubwama is one of many Ugandans who practice both traditional African religions and other religions, including Christianity and Islam. It is hard to name the exact proportion. African religion says, God is for everyone everywhere. While this religious tradition largely died out under the regime of slavery. Mark the Evangelist made history in the year 43 when he became the first bishop to serve in the Orthodox Church of Alexandria. African Independent Churches often openly incorporate aspects of ancestral and traditional African religions with Christian practices. African Traditional Religion and Christianity's Approach to Issues of Marriage and Childbirth Book Review The most effective book i ever read through. The church is unrelated to the Jewish political movement of Zionism. However, at least one important issue in African culture not consistence with the Gospel is not mentioned and that is polygamy. Side by side with their high levels of commitment to Christianity and Islam, many people in the countries surveyed retain beliefs and rituals that are characteristic of traditional African religions. The purpose behind my need to point this out is the clarity I have around the ‘we’ in your ultimate question sounding to me somewhat arrogant from the point of a Catholic formed in a very patriarchal version of Christianity. Participation in traditional religions is increasing. This belief, just as in the case of the previous one, has a theological basis – the plurality of divinities ( polytheism ). Although some Africans who profess Christianity actually follow a mix of biblical teachings and animistic or neo-Pentecostal practices, there are also millions of faithful believers. Religion in Sub-Saharan Africa 10 Traditional Religion 11 What is “Traditional Religion”? Most African slaves embraced Christianity… Your support means we can keep Catholic news alive so that many others will have free access to the high-quality, trustworthy news they deserve. Traditional healers use both scientific and non-scientific or subjective knowledge. There are more than 4,000 registered churches in Kenya, from a mix of denominations such as Anglican, Methodist, Baptist and a variety of newer Pentecostal churches. doi:10.4102/ ve.v32i1.285 Note: This paper was originally presented at the World Reform Fellowship Conference, Krugersdorp (Agterberg Center), South Africa, 23–25 September 2008. A few Christian churches are already doing this. Traditional African religion, aside from the disconcerting diversity of its actual forms of expression, is in reality much more than (those) in the west mean by the term «religion». Various accounts place Zoroaster's birth sometime between the 11th and the 6th century B.C.E. E-mail Citation » This text by a notable scholar of both Christianity and Islam concentrates on the religious dimensions of West African Christianity and the roles of both missionaries and Africans in its spread and development. This statement is relevant to the way the Church should deal with traditional African beliefs. For example, an African amulet might have inside of it a written verse from either the Koran or Christian Bible. It differs widely in its degree of theological orthodoxy or heterodoxy from traditional Christian beliefs. Support us today – it only takes a minute. African ways of doing things became primitive, archaic and regrettably unacceptable in public domain. Thanks to the efforts of missionaries and African believers who have diligently shared the gospel over the past two millennia, Africa is forever changed. Western culture now is regarded as frontline civilisation. While the ancestral connection is undeniable, abandoning Christ for traditional African religions is unnecessary. Today, around 10 percent of the African population still practice some form of traditional religion. At the same time, many Christians and Muslims mix their main religion with traditional African beliefs. Slave labor. “Our Religion and Superstition Was All Mixed Up” “Our Religion and Superstition Was All Mixed Up” Conjure, Christianity, and African American Supernatural Traditions. Recently, I was in South Africa and was able to visit several townships. Acceptance of people regardless of beliefs. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has also adopted freedom of religion as a basic human right in it's constitution. God takes very little interest in the day-to-day affairs of individuals. Hence, it cannot be avoided in the interaction between Christianity and African Traditional Religion. We seek your support not simply to survive, but to grow in our mandate to share the Good News and keep you informed about your Church and Catholic faith. Understanding Contemporary … (Photo: Goran Toma sevic, Reuters/CNS). Although the majority of Africans today are adherents of Christianity or Islam, African people often combine the practice of their traditional belief with the practice of Abrahamic religions. Its study has to go hand-in-hand with the study of the people who practise the religion. In the Southern colonies, where most American slaves lived, Anglican missionaries led the way. This group - originally called "Chris-lam-herb" for its mix-and-match approach to Christianity, Islam, and traditional medicine - is a window on an ongoing religious ferment in Africa. However, there were many traditional religions practiced prior to the arrival of these two religions. Although many Africans believe so much in religion, their strength is often exhibited in several different ways. #285, 10 pages. It is difficult to separate African medicine from African religion. The latter confirms that African culture is predominently patriarchal. The original religions of Africa “are not static”; according to Mayo, “contacts with Christian and Islamic traditions have brought about transformations and syncretism of all three” a perfect example of the triple heritage of Africa. African art, music, oral literature, all display the religious and social patterns of its culture. In his later writings Paul emphasised that even for Jewish Christians like himself, certain religious practices that were allowed under the Law of Moses were no longer necessary as these had been superseded by the supreme sacrifice made by Christ on the Cross. Scan to snap, or if you’re on your phone select the link. African religion does not encourage people to venerate their ancestors instead of worshiping; members of African religion talk to their ancestors but worship God. As our ancestors understood, West African cosmology comports well … The difference is not that high. The most important thing is that in the new South Africa religion and spirituality are used to create greater understanding and harmony rather than to divide people as was done in the past. Due to the impact of Christian missionaries during the British colonial period of Kenya's history, the majority of Kenyans today are Christian. In this column I hope to start a serious debate on the question by taking us back to the teachings of the apostles. it had been writtern quite flawlessly and valuable. Prof. Gordon L. Chavunduka is president of the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers' Association. The religions practiced by the majority of people living in Africa are Christianity and Islam. Usually worn by chiefs. Traditional African religions have faced persecution from the proponents of different ideologies. In practice, Christianity is being mixed with traditional religious beliefs and practices, as much of the links with traditional beliefs and practices are being retained by people who claim to be believes in Christianity or other religions. He taught belief in one God (Ahura Mazda), the Lord of Wisdom, and regarded the other Iranian gods (daevas) as demons. —————————————————————————————————————————————————— The largest church of this kind is the Zion Christian Church (ZCC), which presents a syncretism between the worship practices of Christianity and traditional African religions. What they do each embrace is a main God, the God of gods known by various appellations, which could, hypothetically, be used as a name for each religion as a whole. Religion (Onuzulike, 2008 :164 ). Every contribution, however big or small, makes a difference. Not being a revealed religion, traditional African religion can be characterized as a natural religion, a religion that derives from the peoples' own reflections on this complex world and their experiences in it. There are two main reasons for this. Others convert to Christianity or Islam but still hold on to their traditional religions. Approximately 45% of the population are Protestant and another 33% are Roman Catholic. Conflict is a universal phenomenon that is inevitable in human interaction. It is in this regard that the paper will discuss the Christianity and African traditional religion thereafter. Christianity. In fact, what may be called the first Council of the Church was held to deal with this very issue. In the first of a series of articles on religion, I'm going to show the negative effects of religion on the development and advancement of Africa. The atrocities include killings, waging war, destroying of … The social and psychological methods of treatment developed from this unscientific base often bring good results. Religions in Africa have created a mixed part of the African society. Thank you. Witches are regarded as sinners and it is the duty of religious leaders to talk about witchcraft and to attempt to discourage its practice. It is necessary to begin by articulating three important principles: First, inculturation-presenting the faith through the culture of the people-is a positive approach to evangelisation. History and Evolution . In many cases, pieces and parts of the traditional religion will remain while Christ is added to the mix. In other words, many African Christians have dual membershipCmembership in the Christian church and membership in African religion. I like the subject very much, presented very truthfully and concisely. London: Hurst, 1983. Or that Ethiopia, one of the first countries in the world to adopt Christianity as state religion, is only 63% Christian and 34% Muslim. Culture blended with slaves when they were brought together. Islam sat side by side with African traditional religions. Angela Fisher, 1984.) Christian conversion was, therefore, shallow; it did not always change the African people's understanding of life and their relationship to their ancestral spirits and God. African religions, religious beliefs and practices of the peoples of Africa.It should be noted that any attempt to generalize about the nature of “African religions” risks wrongly implying that there is homogeneity among all African cultures.In fact, Africa is a vast continent encompassing both geographic variation and tremendous cultural diversity. Slavery and African American Religion. As such, groups of slaves practiced in secret among strangers united by circumstance. When we speak of African Traditional Religion, we mean the indigenous religious beliefs This attempt to destroy African religion and medicine has not succeeded. Preserving African religions in North America proved to be very difficult. In their essence, both Indigenous American religions and Christianity have the same goal – to bring the individual into harmony with eternal truth and with God or the Great Creator. After praying about it and debating it, the apostles sent Judas and Silas with Paul and Barnabas to deliver this message to the believers in Antioch: It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality (Acts 15:28-29). The issue of the relationship between the Christian faith and traditional beliefs and practices has been an important consideration since the very early days of the Church. They were also telling Gentile Christians to abstain from certain Gentile practices that were not consistent with the Gospel. Many Brazilian Catholics participate in the rituals of the African religions and believe in orixás, ... Not only does the Brazilian government allow freedom of religion, but it also plays an active role in preserving the religious and cultural traditions of the indigenous people. Christianity was introduced into Tanzania when Roman Catholic Franciscans established a mission at the coastal city of Kilwa during the Portuguese occupation between 1505-1513. There is a need for dialogue between the leaders of Christian churches and the leaders of African religion and medicine. The Alexandria-based church initially used Greek, and it was not until the late 2nd century that both the liturgy and the scriptures were translated into three native languages. ... conversion to Christianity or Islam even when other elements of traditional religions have faded. African Religion and its Influence on Christianity and Islam Traditional African religion has been the basis of spirituality for the people of Africa. (African Adorned. They are the intermediaries between the living and God. Suffice it to note the following: If the sacrifices that God allowed our Father in faith, Abraham, to perform, and the circumcision which God ordered Abraham to undergo in terms of the Old Covenant, have been superseded by the supreme sacrifice of Christ, it consequently follows that all traditional African practices such as circumcision, divination and the sacrificing of animals and birds have also been superseded by Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, and should accordingly be discontinued. Both Christianity and Islam are often juxtaposed with the African Traditional. Christianity found its way to Sudan in the 1st century as well, and the region's Nubian churches had links to those in Egypt. African religions, religious beliefs and practices of the peoples of Africa.It should be noted that any attempt to generalize about the nature of “African religions” risks wrongly implying that there is homogeneity among all African cultures.In fact, Africa is a vast continent encompassing both geographic variation and tremendous cultural diversity. No time for religion While Islam and Christianity tend to be overtly resistant to adopting traditional African religious ideas or practices, indigenous African religions have always accommodated other beliefs. The prevalence of Christian hymns translated into the native language in Kiowa, Ojibwe, and other Indigenous cultures helps support Stevenson’s idea of cultural medium vs. message—when it comes to the interaction between Christianity and Indigenous religions it is the cultural medium that is often more important than the message. Approximately 45% of the population are Protestant and another 33% are Roman Catholic. ‘Christianity and the African traditional religion(s): The postcolonial round of engagement’, Verbum et Ecclesia 32(1), Art. Spanish priests and govt suppressed Native practices that were inconsistent with Christianity Spanish demanded tribute and labour form Natives ... caste system defined by mix of Spanish settlers, Africans, and natives (Mestizo) ... mixing of Christianity and traditional African religions. constantly liable to misunderstand the African worldview and beliefs. Many different languages, religions and types of economic activities developed on this continent. In Acts 15 we are told about how some Jewish Christians from Judaea went to Antioch and taught that Gentile Christians had to be circumcised. According to some estimates, this ratio is 53% to 45% or 50% to 49%. Scientific medicines are obtained mainly from plants. This statement is relevant to the way the Church should deal with traditional African beliefs. This denomination in general embodies a mixture of traditional African and Protestant Christian beliefs. Traditions from multiple tribes began to mix together. Unplanned interaction might continue to create new problems, misunderstandings and conflict. ... Mixing of Christianity and traditional African religions. At a conference held recently on spiritual direction, I asked the question: To what extent can we accommodate traditional African beliefs that are not consistent with the Gospel message of Christ?Many who commented acknowledged this was an important question, but no one gave a clear answer. It is a global framework of life, encompassing every human situation and governing the whole of society. Food taboos, such as not eating pork. 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