Published on Nov 23, 2017
The indigenous religious beliefs and practices of African peoples include various traditional religions. While generalizations of these religions are difficult, due to the diversity of African cultures, they do have some characteristics in common. Generally, they are oral rather than scriptural, include belief in a supreme being, belief in spirits and other divinities, veneration of ancestors, use of magic, and traditional medicine. The role of humanity is generally seen as one of harmonizing nature with the supernatural.
While adherence to traditional religion in Africa is hard to estimate, due to syncretism with Christianity and Islam, practitioners are estimated to number over 100 million, or at least 10 percent of the population of the continent. African diasporic religions are also practiced by descendants of Africans in the diaspora in the Americas such as Candomble, Umbanda, Quimbanda in Brazil, Santeria in Cuba and the United States, Lucumi in the Caribbean and Vodun in Haiti and the United States.
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