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Religion In Africa Before Slavery

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  • Religion In Africa Before Slavery

    Religion is a fundamental, perhaps the most important, influence in the life of most Africans Holocaust–J. O. Awolalu

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Before-Christianity-came-Egypt.jpg Views:	1 Size:	22.9 KB ID:	16863 Very few realize that “organized religion” started in Ancient Egypt. The first religious text was from Ancient Egypt. Theconcepts we are so familiar within in the Abrahamic faiths, like judgment, hell, etc, all pre-existed in Ancient Egypt thousands of years before these newcomers.

    Most spiritual systems practiced by Africans, whether native or mainstream, are organized religions. The rituals of Voodoo, Orisha, Serer, etc are all highly organized, and without exception, function in communal setting. They all have degrees of a priest class, ceremony, immolation, libation, religious holidays, creation stories, saints, divine systems of punishment and reward.
    The key difference is most native or traditional faiths are usually ethno-specific and generally lack a written tradition, and a prophet. (Awolalu) They also are less proselytizing compared to Islam and Christianity.[1] Beyond this even Indigenous beliefs systems share elements in common with each other, as well as with the Abrahamic faiths and other indigenous belief systems around the world.



    Outside of the Abrahamic faiths, and perhaps faiths found in the Diaspora, many African religions are inseparable from the ethnic identity and culture. So the religion of the Serer is historically part of Serer identity, the religion of the Maasai is part of Maasai cultural identity.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	last_judgement_of_hu-nefer1360312565282-768x340.jpeg Views:	2 Size:	116.5 KB ID:	16866
    Click image for larger version  Name:	oldest-ethiopian-bible.jpg Views:	1 Size:	22.6 KB ID:	16865
    One erroneous idea is that all Africans had one “pagan” religion at some point in time. There is no ” original” religion for an entire continent of people, which is static over 60,000 years of African history. Religion all over the world is invariable tied to lifestyle so as people move from nomadic to sedentary, from chiefdoms to city state, from hunters to agriculturist—religion evolved to suit. There is also a profound relationship to culture, and more often than not, cultures are not destroyed by new faiths but modified to accommodate the tenants of the new religion. We see this in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The greater the cultural agency of the group, the more they Africanize the incoming faiths into their political-cultural domain.

    By Alik Shahadah
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