Because religion is a way of life, it relates to culture and society as they affect the worldview of the African people.
There is a lot to learn about African traditional religions, and a lot of interesting facts to explore. We share 6 interesting facts about African traditional religions.
1.It’s Highly Dynamic
African traditional religions are not static but very dynamic, largely because they are constantly reacting to various shifting influences such as old age, modernity and technological advances.
2. They are Based More on Lived Traditions
African traditional religions are not so much based on faith as they are based on lived traditions. This is seen in the fact that they are more concerned with rituals, ceremonies and lived practices, than they are with doctrines and belief systems.
3. Concerns For Health, Wealth and Procreation are Central To The Core of African Religions
It is because of this core concern that African traditional religions develop institutions for healing, commerce and general well-being of their own practitioners, as well as adherents of other religions.
4. It’s Not Based on Conversion
A practitioner of African traditional religion is unlikely to attempt to convert a non-practitioner into his/her religious beliefs and practices. They simply believe in living their faith and attempting a peaceful coexistence with others who are of differing religious traditions that live among them.
5. Women Play Key Roles in This Religions
African traditional religions have very profound internal gender relations and dynamics. Women, as well as men, play key roles in African religions as there many female goddesses, priestesses, diviners and other figures revered in African religious traditions and practices. The reverence of women, as well as men, in African traditional religions is so profound, that many feminist scholars have used these traditions as reference points to advocate for the rights of women in African societies. For indigenous African religions, the role of gender is complementary in such a way that a ‘confluence of male and female forces must operate in harmony’.
6. It Provides Strong Linkages Between The Life of Humans and the World of Ancestors
As a result of these strong linkages, African religions provide a platform for humans to maintain constant and symbiotic relationships with their ancestors. These ancestors are understood to be intimately concerned and involved in their descendants’ everyday affairs.
7. Traditional African religions have gone global!
The Trans-Atlantic slave trade led to the growth of African-inspired traditions in the Americas such as Candomblé in Brazil, Santería in Cuba, or Vodun in Haïti. Furthermore, many in places like the US and the UK have converted to various traditional African religions, and the importance of the diaspora for these religions is growing rapidly. African religions have also become a major attraction for those in the diaspora who travel to Africa on pilgrimages because of the global reach of these traditions.
There are quite a number of revival groups and movements whose main aim is to ensure that the tenants and practice of African indigenous religion that are threatened survive. These can be found all over the Americas and Europe.