RELIGION LIBRARY

Africa

African Indigenous Religion refers to the vast number and diversity of religions native to the continent of Africa. Typically, the term African Indigenous Religion refers to the religions indigenous to those regions within Sub-Sahara Africa that have been less influenced by interaction with Asia and Europe. This great religious variety within Africa is also partnered with the great social and political differences throughout the country. Throughout the centuries, African indigenous religions have had continued interaction with differing cultures and religions, both from within and outside of the continent of Africa. Most indigenous African religions believe in a Supreme God, but this belief is not universal. Most of these religions have mythologies, rituals, and practices describing the relationship between the Supreme God and the people. Many African religions have creation myths as well as wisdom proverbs used to create social and political order. It is also common for indigenous African religions to have deities in addition to the Supreme God. These deities are often linked to different aspects of the cosmos and nature such as rain, the sun, agriculture, and animals. Ancestor veneration and worship is also characteristic of many indigenous African religions. Other common features of Sub-Saharan religions include the belief in and use of magic, divination, and sorcery. Most indigenous African religions are pre-literate meaning that the beliefs and practices are passed on orally. Contrary to some speculation, indigenous African religions continue to thrive, even though they constantly adjust and adapt to other religious influences such as Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism.

Quick Facts

Formed -3000
Adherents Unknown
Deity Various deities, usually associated with elements of nature or cosmology
Sacred Text Oral, iconographic
Origin Sub-Sahara Africa
Headquarters None
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