The Role of Religions in the African Diaspora

Published: 2021-07-07 00:05:10
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Vodou and WitchcraftIndividuals from different cultures created different images of Vodou. Each one of them took on its on characteristic shape over the course of several centuries. Although it has not been codified in writing, never possessed a national institutional structure. This could be a religion, national church, a seminary, a hierarchy or a character.Witchcraft, on the other hand, is also known as black magic is the harnessing of malevolent forces with the objective of causing harm to other human beings. Almost all religions include what anthropologists call ‘transformative practices,’ that is, acts which when appropriately performed by humans, mobilize supernatural forces that affect human lives. These practices are mainly practiced in countries such as North and South America, Cuba, Haiti and New Orleans.These practices were initially being practiced by most people from West Africa. These included Nigeria, the Dahomey of Benin, and the Yoruba and Congo people.Witchcraft and Vodou had some aspects. Some were African while others were not. Some of the African elements include:Invisible realityThey believed in invisible superpowers that dwelled in the images they formed. They worshipped them and thought they had hidden powers.From healingto killingThe many faces of witchcraft and Vodou had both cures and killing powers. Mostly, much witchcraft has bad intentions that could make people ill, go crazy or entirely kill them. They were mainly triggered by jealousy and greed for power. There were also some non-African aspects such as American rain dance that is transformative and evident in the Roman Catholic Church.Mainly their belief is based on the existence of these invisible gods, and they offer sacrifices to appease them every once in a while.Rastafarian as an African Diasporic PhenomenalThis form of religion can also be described as Judeo-Christian influenced religious, social movement that initially originated from Jamaica in the early 1930s. It was inspired by Haile Selassie 1 Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930. Since then, this has been spread in many countries. The practitioners of this religion identify themselves by smoking weed and have deadlocks. Since its origination in Jamaica, the faith has expanded and spread to many other nations in the New World. The many countries where the faith is now practiced include Europe, Asia, New Zealand, United States of America and also some parts of Africa.The many Jamaican people who practice this religion turned to the Bible and through literal translation of the documents found much correlation into what had taken place. The Rastafarian religion continues to follow the trends of interpreting the bible leading to practices that make them unique from other religions.To any Jamaicans people, they turned to the Bible and through literal translation of the documents found much correlation to what and still is taking place in the world. The Rastafarians continue to follow the many trends from the Bible by interpreting it leading to practices that make them unique from other religions.In the new world, the Rastafarians identify themselves by smoking Ganja which, according to them, helps open up their minds and view the world from a better point of view while reasoning the different ways of the New World. Before smoking, they pray to Jah (their God) or Haile Selassie 1. Their central dialect or belief is mainly in their speech. Like they say, “If you want to know how Rasta’s think, listen to them talk.” They take their speech seriously and make them sound very powerful and grateful compared to other religions.Candomble and CarnivalAlso known as Macumba, Candomble is the acceptance of the existence of many gods in a culture. Carnival, on the other hand, refers to the season in the Catholic liturgical calendar before Lenten fasts and the prohibition of meat. It includes slaughtering of animals as a form of sacrifice. The practices have become extensive spread and are being practiced in many countries such as; Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Columbia, Uruguay, and Portugal. The method of Candomble (dance in honor of gods) was practiced initially in Africa by the Yoruba, the Bantus from Congo and the Fon African societies.The aspects of religion that are African include the black dances by the Bantu people and dramatization as well as the use of instruments. Each god was significant in its way different in its style and demanded a different approach from the others. Modern carnival started in the early 1930s. The carnivals reproduce the country’s social-political history because as a reflective of the final consolidation of the contemporary liturgical agglutinative for those young people pushed to the margins of history. The practice of Candomble and carnival in the New World is evident in many churches in the countries where Africans moved after slavery. It is evident in Catholic churches and some Orthodox churches that still practice these practices. The dances are still practiced in Brazil.Many practitioners of this society base their beliefs on the dances and the attires involved. In African countries, they visit churches yearly and learn about the religion from other followers who have been at it for quite some time.

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