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Religion In Africa Is Versatile, Varying And Abundant

1661 words - 7 pages

Religions in Africa span far beyond the common confines accepted within the western barriers in terms of religion. While Western religion is often separated, overpowering, or distinct within its own borders, African religion may be versatile, as well as varying and abundant. Many different factors go into the religious practices of African people, and this specific location is well known for their diversity and deep dedication to their specific religious practices. There are also specific distinctions between the common religions based on geographical locations from North to South.
To begin, it must be clear that religions within Africa extend beyond the reach of modern religions and traditions, and while individuals are being converted every day, there are still traces within the lives of African people that are rooted in the pre-modern religions of the area. Many of these religions are marked by single deities having rule over lesser deities, sacrifices, and prayer. While these are not the only qualities, they are prevalent within many different religions among the indigenous people from before modern religion made its way into the area. While these practices have not died out, they are becoming less of a factor in everyday life, but there are bits and pieces dispersed throughout life from these religions. They often accompany modern religious practices, as they are rooted within the culture, and may be viewed as supplemental to the religion rather than having a distinct separations (“Traditional Religions”). The religions also take root in the practice of oral tradition, being passed down through generations in the native language, as well as being overall centered around the communities within which they are prevalent within. Often headed by a spiritual leader, the traditions take a lot of pride in sacred objects and ancestral spirits. Often these ancestral spirits are called upon rather than the divine being to be a method of communication, rather than going to the deity as earthly beings. This heightened relationship with ancestral spirits also contributes to a significant amount of respect for the elderly, as they will likely become the mediators once they pass. To go with these common religious practices, there are also many rituals based in religious practices for occasions ranging from weddings to deaths and births (“African Traditional Religion”).
Besides just the traditional religions rooted in the indigenous people of Africa, there are also religions like Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddhism. Christianity, a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the script of the Bible, was formed in Palestine, then spread as it was a part of the Roman Empire. This spread facilitated by the push for further teachings of the religion made its way into Africa, which is not a far-fetched idea considering they are geographically close to one another. Much like the traditional religions of Africa, the stories of Jesus were...

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