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Christianization Among Native Americans Essay

2143 words - 9 pages

Wrong actions can affect your surroundings negatively, and can clearly have profound effects on people, animals, or nature. One of the examples that have led to the destruction of culture and nature is colonization. Colonization is the mistreatment of a weak country by a powerful country, moving their people into the territory of interest, and exercising power to rule over the people, and the land. Some of the colonization that took place ended up eradicating people’s spiritual and religious beliefs and replacing it with theirs. Rather than destroying other peoples’ beliefs, the colonizers should have practiced spiritual syncretism. Spiritual Syncretism, also known as spiritual hybridity, is the cultural mixing of spiritual and religious beliefs. This happens when those colonized do not to lose all their beliefs and customs, and instead chose to mix them with the beliefs of the colonizers. An example of this is in the Latino culture where catholic saints and tribal African deities are worshipped as the same entity. In this essay, I will argue that, how European Colonizers eradicated the Native American worldview and forcibly converted them to their own beliefs was unjust. I will also argue that spiritual hybridity is a better solution than eradicating other peoples’ beliefs.
During the European expedition in America, they founded colonies in North America that attracted thousands of settlers. The Europeans tried to get rid of the Native Americans in order to get what they wanted, which was economic wealth, landowning, slave trade, property ownership, and tobacco. M. Zylstra writes about “Colonization of History”, hybridization of history, and what the colonization of the natives by the Europeans lead to. Zylstra states.
Europeans [had] systematically attempted to exterminate Native American culture. This was first attempted by the literal hunting down and butchering of Native Americans. As early European colonizers began encroaching on Native American lands a conflict arose. Europeans believed that the Native American’s land was unoccupied because they were viewed as “savages,” a subhuman demarcation. As a result of this demarcation, there was no perceived settlement in the area as a result of this demarcation and a lack of traditional western evidence of settlement. (Zylstra, “Colonization of History”,

Most of the Europeans hated and feared the natives. They thought of them as people who stood in the way of progress and civilization. The colonialists believed that the natives deserved to be civilized and Christianized as a “white man” and those who refused were forced away from the territory. The Europeans Colonizers went to extremes to get what they wanted. They infected the natives with diseases such as smallpox, which killed most of them. The natives were also captured, enslaved, and forced to convert their religions.
Before the Europeans colonized the Indigenous Native Americans, the Native American society...

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