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How Africans worship their God

How Africans worship their God

Gods that Africans believe in

The denomination of traditional African religions designates all the indigenous religions historically practiced in Africa, and in particular in sub-Saharan Africa, other than the imported Abrahamic religions: Christianity and Islam note.

The indigenous religious diversity of the African continent is of great richness, which corresponds to the variety of cultures on the continent. Traditional African religions share the belief in a set of deities specific to different aspects of life and nature, often with a creator couple or an initial creator God, the worship of ancestors and spirits, the belief in reincarnation, and almost always an initiatory journey.

The traditional African forms of worship

The traditional African forms of worship are divergent and each, depending on beliefs, is higher than the other. However, the common forms of worship are:

  • An animal is slaughtered in honour of God…
  • It is another way of worshipping God.
  • Singing and dancing in worship. Songs and dances are performed during communal worship and prayers. They are God’s verbal communications….
  • Invocations, blessings, and salutations are the other forms of worship.

Whom do Africans pray to?

Africans pray to God. They believe that there’s a supreme being and worship him. The introduction of Christianity and Islam has given the ability to pray directly to this supreme being, but the traditional worshippers have a belief that they are not fit to communicate directly to a supreme God, hence the device to use gods as an intermediary.

All these peoples have the idea of a high god or creator god, who is beyond human imagination and unreachable, sometimes also appears as a clan ancestor spirit, or lord of the animals, or lord of the earth. This deity is often gender neutral, though sometimes male or female.

In some cases, as with the Yoruba of West Africa, Nigeria, a systematized polytheistic pantheon has also developed, which also includes cultural heroes.

The true religion of Africa

All beliefs that arose before the spread of Islam and Christianity, or independently of them, and some of which are still alive today, are referred to as African religions. This religion, in contrast to the foreign ones that came to be, is the true African religion.

Presently, these African religions represent the third largest group of religions in Africa. Throughout history, Christianity, Islam and African currents influenced and mixed with each other. Today it is no longer possible to separate what is originally African and what is influenced by Western concepts. Many religious structures in the West were incorporated into existing systems of thought or people distanced themselves from them.

Various characteristics have been assigned to the traditional religions, but these cannot be generalized under any circumstances, as they are based on Western concepts and ways of thinking. Some traditional religions share a belief in a supreme being and several lesser deities. The supreme god is not worshiped directly, as he is considered too holy to listen to people’s wishes and prayers.

Therefore, people also use the lower gods as transmitters to the highest god. Sometimes these gods have a totem associated with them. Certain animals are worshiped as earthly representatives of certain gods. Each subordinate god is responsible for and exercises power in a particular area of the believer’s life. Although a god rules over subordinate gods or demigods, this supreme god exists in relative detachment from everyday life.

Animism perceives nature as filled with spirit. Animal sacrifices are widespread to assure oneself of the protection and mercy of the deity. They are also said to please or appease the spirits and forces of nature. Traditional beliefs often include rites of initiation of a child into the community, the transition from childhood to adult roles during so-called initiation rites, and a person’s passage into the ancestral realm after death. In traditional religions, places, things, or living beings are considered sacred. Respect for the ancestors is often reflected in an ancestor cult.

Human healing powers, the belief in good and evil spirits, as well as magic and magical powers, are also part of traditional religions. The fetish is also not infrequently seen by believers as the dwelling place of a lower god and thus as an aid to their religion.

What is an African spirituality?

African spirituality is simply the act of acknowledging practices and beliefs that impact and inform every facet of human life, which proves that African religion cannot be separated from nature and everyday events, affirming it as holistic.

What are the beliefs of the Africans?

The indigenous religious diversity of the African continent is of great richness, which corresponds to the variety of cultures on the continent. Traditional African religions all share the belief in a set of deities associated with various aspects of life and nature, often with a creator couple or an initial creator God, the worship of ancestors and spirits, the belief in reincarnation, and almost always a course.

African beliefs depict the universe as fluid and moving and use the distinction between the “visible”, relating to the activities of men, and the “invisible”, specific to the forces that act in our human world. These are the “system relationships” described by Griaule.

The cosmogonic narratives that tell the creation of the world are numerous in Africa, often specific to a people or an ethnic group, often recounting in several ways what is supposed to be the same event in a given geographical area.

They are also founding myths, mixing history and religion. Indeed, if they relate the creation of the world, they also relate the subsequent history of men and the way in which social order was established, including that of clans and castes, this aspect sometimes resting on an “authentic” historical foundation, which can be verified by cross-checking.

The main feature of cosmogonic myths is the emphasis on cyclical time, where events repeat themselves, the cosmos being supposed to complete a cycle and then to begin again, after “regeneration”, a similar cycle, which therefore resembles the cycle seasons, unlike linear time where history advances.

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John Aina has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. John is happiest when he is on a bike and is also interested in Solar technology.
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    How Africans worship their God

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