Religion in Africa
Religion in Africa is multifaceted and has been a major influence on art and philosophy. Today, the continent's various populations and individuals are adherents of Christianity, to a lesser extent several Traditional African religions. In Christian or Islamic communities, religious beliefs are sometimes characterized with syncretism with the beliefs and practices of traditional religions. Africa encompasses a wide variety of traditional beliefs. Although religious customs are sometimes shared by many local societies, they are unique to specific populations or geographic regions. According to Dr J Omosade Awolalu, The "traditional" in this context means indigenous, that, foundational, handed down from generation to generation, meant as to be upheld and practised today and forevermore. A heritage from the past, yet not treated as a thing of the past but that which connects the past with the present and the present with eternity. Spoken of in the terms of a singularity, deliberate; the essence of this school of thought is based on oral transmission.
It has no leaders like Gautama Buddha, Jesus, or Muhammed. It has the intent to propagate or to proselytise; some of the African traditional religions are those of the Serer of Senegal, the Yoruba and Igbo of Nigeria, the Akan of Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The religion of the Gbe peoples of Benin and Ghana is called Vodun and is the main source for named religions in the diaspora, such as Louisiana Voodoo, Haitian Vodou, Cuban Vodú, Dominican Vudú and Brazilian Vodum The majority of Africans are adherents of Christianity or Islam. African people combine the practice of their traditional belief with the practice of Abrahamic religions. Abrahamic religions are widespread throughout Africa, they have both spread and replaced indigenous African religions, but are adapted to African cultural contexts and belief systems. The World Book Encyclopedia has estimated that in 2002 Christians formed 40% of the continent's population, with Muslims forming 45%, it was estimated in 2002 that Christians form 45% of Africa's population, with Muslims forming 40.6%.
Christianity is now one of the most practiced religions in Africa along with Islam and is the largest religion in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most adherents outside Egypt and Eritrea are Greek Orthodox or Protestant. Several syncretistic and messianic sects have formed throughout much of the continent, including the Nazareth Baptist Church in South Africa and the Aladura churches in Nigeria. There is fairly widespread populations of Seventh-day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses; the oldest Christian denominations in Africa are the Eastern Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church In the first few centuries of Christianity, Africa produced many figures who had a major influence outside the continent, including St Augustine of Hippo, St Maurice, Origen and three Roman Catholic popes, as well as the Biblical characters Simon of Cyrene and the Ethiopian eunuch baptised by Philip the Evangelist.
Christianity existed in Ethiopia before the rule of King Ezana the Great of the Kingdom of Axum, but the religion took a strong foothold when it was declared a state religion in 330 AD, becoming one of the first Christian nations. The earliest and best known reference to the introduction of Christianity to Africa is mentioned in the Christian Bible's Acts of the Apostles, pertains to the evangelist Phillip's conversion of an Ethiopian traveler in the 1st century AD. Although the Bible refers to them as Ethiopians, scholars have argued that Ethiopia was a common term encompassing the area South-Southeast of Egypt. Other traditions have the convert as a Jew, a steward in the Queen's court. All accounts do agree on the fact that the traveler was a member of the royal court who succeeded in converting the Queen, which in turn caused a church to be built. Tyrannius Rufinus, a noted church historian recorded a personal account as do other church historians such as Socrates and Sozemius; some experts predict the shift of Christianity's center from the European industrialized nations to Africa and Asia in modern times.
Yale University historian Lamin Sanneh stated, that "African Christianity was not just an exotic, curious phenomenon in an obscure part of the world, but that African Christianity might be the shape of things to come." The statistics from the World Christian Encyclopedia illustrate the emerging trend of dramatic Christian growth on the continent and supposes, that in 2025 there will be 633 million Christians in Africa. A 2015 study estimates 2,161,000 Christian believers from a Muslim background in Africa, most of them belonging to some form of Protestantism. Islam is the other major religion in Africa alongside Christianity, with 47% of the population being Muslim, accounting for 1/4 of the world's Muslim population; the faith's historic roots on the continent stem from the time of the Prophet Muhammad, whose early disciples migrated to Abyssinia in fear of persecution from the pagan Arabs. The spread of Islam in North Africa came with the expansion of Arab empire under Caliph Umar, through the Sinai Peninsula.
Spread of Islam in West Africa was throug
Heathenry (new religious movement)
Heathenry termed Heathenism, contemporary Germanic Paganism, or Germanic Neopaganism, is a modern Pagan religion. Scholars of religious studies classify Heathenry as a new religious movement, its practitioners model it on the pre-Christian belief systems adhered to by the Germanic peoples of Iron Age and Early Medieval Europe. To reconstruct these past belief systems, Heathenry uses surviving historical and folkloric evidence as a basis, although approaches to this material vary considerably. Heathenry does not have a unified theology but is polytheistic, centering on a pantheon of deities from pre-Christian Germanic Europe, it adopts cosmological views from these past societies, including an animistic view of the cosmos in which the natural world is imbued with spirits. The religion's deities and spirits are honored in sacrificial rites known as blóts in which food and libations are offered to them; these are accompanied by symbel, the act of ceremonially toasting the gods with an alcoholic beverage.
Some practitioners engage in rituals designed to induce an altered state of consciousness and visions, most notably seiðr and galdr, with the intent of gaining wisdom and advice from the deities. Although many solitary practitioners follow the religion by themselves, members of the Heathen community assemble in small groups known as kindreds or hearths, to perform their rites outdoors or in specially constructed buildings. Heathen ethical systems emphasize honor, personal integrity, loyalty, while beliefs about an afterlife vary and are emphasized. A central division within the Heathen movement concerns the issue of race; some groups adopt a "universalist" perspective which holds that the religion is open to all, irrespective of ethnic or racial identity. Others adopt a racialist attitude—often termed "folkish" within the community—by viewing Heathenry as an ethnic or racial religion with inherent links to a Germanic race that should be reserved explicitly for people of Northern European descent or white people in general.
Some folkish Heathens further combine the religion with explicitly racist, white supremacist, far right-wing perspectives, although these approaches are repudiated by many Heathens. Although the term Heathenry is used to describe the religion as a whole, many groups prefer different designations, influenced by their regional focus and ideological preferences. Heathens focusing on Scandinavian sources sometimes use Vanatrú, or Forn Sed; the religion's origins lie in the 19th- and early 20th-century Romanticist movement which glorified the pre-Christian beliefs of Germanic societies. In this period, organised groups venerating the Germanic gods developed in Austria. In the 1970s, new Heathen groups emerged in Europe and North America, developing into formalized organizations in order to promote their faith. In recent decades, the Heathen movement has been the subject of academic study by scholars active in the field of Pagan studies. Scholarly estimates put the number of Heathens at no more than 20,000 worldwide, with communities of practitioners active in Europe, the Americas, Australasia.
Scholars of religious studies classify Heathenry as a new religious movement, more as a reconstructionist form of modern Paganism. Heathenry has been defined as "a broad contemporary Pagan new religious movement, consciously inspired by the linguistically and ethnically'Germanic' societies of Iron Age and early medieval Europe as they existed prior to Christianization", as a "movement to revive and/or reinterpret for the present day the practices and worldviews of the pre-Christian cultures of northern Europe". Practitioners seek to revive these past belief systems by using surviving historical source materials. Among the historical sources used are Old Norse texts associated with Iceland such as the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda, Old English texts such as Beowulf, Middle High German texts such as the Nibelungenlied; some Heathens adopt ideas from the archaeological evidence of pre-Christian Northern Europe and folklore from periods in European history. Among many Heathens, this material is referred to as the "Lore" and studying it is an important part of their religion.
Some textual sources remain problematic as a means of "reconstructing" pre-Christian belief systems, because they were written by Christians and only discuss pre-Christian religion in a fragmentary and biased manner. The anthropologist Jenny Blain characterises Heathenry as "a religion constructed from partial material", while the religious studies scholar Michael Strmiska describes its beliefs as being "riddled with uncertainty and historical confusion", thereby characterising it as a postmodern movement; the ways in which Heathens use this historical and archaeological material differ. Some, for instance, adapt their practices according to "unverified personal gnosis" that they have gained through spiritual experiences. Others adopt concepts from the world's surviving ethnic religions as well as modern polytheistic faiths such as Hinduism and Afro-Americ
Religion in Antarctica
Antarctica has various places of worship and an increasing demand for religious services and construction of sacred architecture on the continent. In spite of the famous saying "below 40 degrees south there is no law; some of the early religious buildings are now protected as important historical monuments. Christian buildings are the only religious buildings on the continent. A cross on Wind Vane Hill, Cape Evans, was erected by the Ross Sea Party, led by Captain Aeneas Mackintosh, of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914–1917, in memory of three members of the party who died in the vicinity in 1916; the cross has been designated a Historic Site or Monument, following a proposal by New Zealand and the United Kingdom to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. The first clergyman of any denomination to set foot on Antarctica was the Rev. Arnold Spencer-Smith an Anglican priest, chaplain and photographer for the Ross Sea Party of Shackleton's Imperial Trans Antarctic Expedition.
Spencer-Smith set up a chapel in Polding's darkroom in Scott's Hut at Cape Evans. He arranged an altar with cross and candlesticks and an aumbry where he reserved the Blessed Sacrament, he made a lamp to hang by the aumbry to indicate the real presence. In his diary, Spencer-Smith records how many were present, he records when he heard confession on the continent. Spencer-Smith was the first clergyman to land in Antarctica, the first to celebrate the Eucharist and the first to die and be buried there; the first Roman Catholic service in Antarctica was performed in 1947 by William Menster, Lieutenant Commander of the United States Navy during Operation Highjump. During a Catholic service held in a tent set up on land, he consecrated Antarctica. Ministering to 2,000 men from a variety of Christian denominations gave him experience in leading ecumenical services. Although they are used for Christian worship, the Chapel of the Snows has been used for Buddhist and Bahai ceremonies; some of the buildings are among important sites and under protection, such as the Chilean Captain Arturo Prat Base's wooden cross and a Statue of Our Lady of the Carmel.
While the Pakistan program at Jinnah Antarctic Station brought Muslims to Antarctica in 1991, there are no mosques on the continent or on any of the outlying islands, as the most optimal ways of observing Islamic religious customs there are still being determined. Around 1900, whaling stations and expedition camps were erected in the larger area. After World War II, some military expeditions explored the region; the International Geophysical Year marked the end of a long period during the Cold War when scientific interchange between East and West had been interrupted and has since contributed to civil scientific exploration. Since the 1950s, most stations in Antarctica have been constructed for scientific research. Extended stays in the region can be an stressful experience for the researchers who have been separated from their families for months at a time. Jesuits, which have had a long tradition of geophysical research in Antarctica, contributed as well to the early Antarctic missions. Notable Jesuit seismicity scholars like Edward A. Bradley, Henry F. Birkenhauer and J. Joseph Lynch and Daniel J. Linehan have been among those.
The first churches south of the Antarctic Convergence and north of 60° S latitude are Notre-Dame des Vents at Port-aux-Français on the main island of Kerguelen and the Norwegian Lutheran Church, a Lutheran chapel in Grytviken, South Georgia. After years of abandonment and weathering the harsh elements of the region, the Grytviken church was renovated by the keepers of South Georgia Museum and volunteers in 1996–1998 and now serves for occasional church services and marriage ceremonies; some churches north of the Antarctic Convergence serve Antarctic territories, such as the Christ Church Cathedral in Stanley, the southernmost Anglican cathedral in the world. It serves as the parish church not only for the Falkland Islands, but South Georgia and the British Antarctic Territory. Punta Arenas in the southern tip of the South American mainland has a Roman Catholic cathedral, which serves the Chilean Antarctic Territory. Christians have turned toward Internet communications for fellowship in the 21st century.
Out of nearly 90 stations in Antarctica, half are only used in summer months. Most research stations have a small meeting room dual-purposed for religious assemblies. Larger stations and communities use a separate room a makeshift steel container for religious purposes; the Chapel of the Snows was erected in 1956 as a Christian chapel used by several denominations, at McMurdo Station, Ross Island. The Chapel offers various Protestant and Catholic services, but allows for meetings of other religions, such as Latter Day Saints and Buddhists and is used as well for secular groups; the chapel had been rebuilt after a fire in 1978 and was reconsecrated in 1989. The majority of Catholic Antarctic sites exist due to the Argentine and Chilean presence on the Continent; the Worldwide Antarctic Program proposes building a Catholic chapel at Mario Zucchelli Station, Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica.
Sikhism, or Sikhi Sikkhī, from Sikh, meaning a "disciple", "seeker," or "learner") is a religion that originated in the Punjab region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent around the end of the 15th century, has variously been defined as monotheistic and panentheistic. It is one of the youngest of the major world religions, the world's fifth largest organized religion, as well as being the world's ninth-largest overall religion; the fundamental beliefs of Sikhism, articulated in the sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib, include faith and meditation on the name of the one creator, divine unity and equality of all humankind, engaging in selfless service, striving for justice for the benefit and prosperity of all, honest conduct and livelihood while living a householder's life. In the early 21st century there were nearly 25 million Sikhs worldwide, the great majority of them living in Punjab, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Sikhism is based on the spiritual teachings of Guru Nanak, the first Guru, the nine Sikh gurus that succeeded him.
The Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, named the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib as his successor, terminating the line of human Gurus and making the scripture the eternal, religious spiritual guide for Sikhs. The Guru Granth Sahib is notable for being written by the founders of the religion, for including works by members of other religions. Sikhism rejects claims; the Sikh scripture opens with Ik Onkar, its Mul Mantar and fundamental prayer about One Supreme Being. Sikhism emphasizes simran, that can be expressed musically through kirtan or internally through Nam Japo as a means to feel God's presence, it teaches followers to transform the "Five Thieves". Hand in hand, secular life is considered to be intertwined with the spiritual life. Guru Nanak taught that living an "active and practical life" of "truthfulness, self-control and purity" is above the metaphysical truth, that the ideal man is one who "establishes union with God, knows His Will, carries out that Will". Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh Guru, established the political/temporal and spiritual realms to be mutually coexistent.
Sikhism evolved in times of religious persecution. Two of the Sikh gurus – Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur – were tortured and executed by the Mughal rulers after they refused to convert to Islam; the persecution of Sikhs triggered the founding of the Khalsa as an order to protect the freedom of conscience and religion, with qualities of a "Sant-Sipāhī" – a saint-soldier. The Khalsa was founded by Guru Gobind Singh; the majority of Sikh scriptures were written in the Gurmukhī alphabet, a script standardised by Guru Angad out of Laṇḍā scripts used in North India. Adherents of Sikhism are known as Sikhs, which means disciples of the Guru; the anglicised word'Sikhism' is derived from the Punjabi verb Sikhi, with roots in Sikhana, Sikhi connotes the "temporal path of learning". The basis of Sikhism lies in the teachings of his successors. Many sources call Sikhism a monotheistic religion, while others call it a monistic and panentheistic religion. According to Eleanor Nesbitt, English renderings of Sikhism as a monotheistic religion "tend misleadingly to reinforce a Semitic understanding of monotheism, rather than Guru Nanak's mystical awareness of the one, expressed through the many.
However, what is not in doubt is the emphasis on'one'". In Sikhism, the concept of "God" is Waheguru considered Nirankar and Alakh Niranjan; the Sikh scripture begins with Ik Onkar, which refers to the "formless one", understood in the Sikh tradition as monotheistic unity of God. Sikhism is classified as an Indian religion along with Buddhism and Jainism, given its geographical origin and its sharing some concepts with them. Sikh ethics emphasize the congruence between everyday moral conduct, its founder Guru Nanak summarized this perspective with "Truth is the highest virtue, but higher still is truthful living". God in Sikhism is known as the One Supreme Reality or the all-pervading spirit; this spirit has no gender in Sikhism. It is Akaal Purkh and Nirankar. In addition, Nanak wrote; the traditional Mul Mantar goes from Ik Oankar until Nanak Hosee Bhee Sach. The opening line of the Guru Granth Sahib and each subsequent raga, mentions Ik Oankar: ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ॥Transliteration: ikk ōankār sat-nām karatā purakh nirabha'u niravair akāl mūrat ajūnī saibhan gur prasād.
"There is one supreme being, the eternal reality, the creator, without fear and devoid of enmity, never incarnated, self-existent, known by grace through the true Guru." Māyā, defined as a temporary illusion or "unreality", is one of the core deviations from the pursuit of God and salvation: where worldly attractions which give only illusory temporary satisfaction and pain which distract the process of the devotion of God. However, Nanak emphasised māyā as not a reference of its values. In Sikhism, the influences of ego, greed and lust, known as the Five Thieves, are believed to be distracting and hurtful. Sikhs believe the world is curren
Religion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Christianity is the majority religion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, followed by more than 90% of the population. Denominations include Roman Catholic 42.8%, Protestant 38% and other Christian denominations 12%. Minority religions include Muslims who represent 1% of the population and others accounting for 4%, according to most recent estimates. Hinduism, not spread represents 0.18% of the population. Kimbanguism was banned by the Belgians. Kimbanguism "the church of Christ on Earth by the prophet Simon Kimbangu", now has about three million members among the Bakongo of Bas-Congo and Kinshasa. 62 of the Protestant denominations in the country are federated under the umbrella of the Church of Christ in Congo or CCC. It is simply referred to as'The Protestant Church', since it covers most of the 20% of the population who are Protestants. Islam was introduced and spread by Arab merchants and slave traders. Traditional religions embody such concepts as monotheism, vitalism and ancestor worship and sorcery and vary among ethnic groups.
The syncretic sects merge Christianity with traditional beliefs and rituals, may not be accepted by mainstream churches as part of Christianity. A clear delineation of religious affiliation into these membership categories can give a misleading picture of Congolese reality; the number of persons who can be categorized as belonging to one group or another is limited. Overlapping affiliations are more common; as with class identity or with ethnic identity, an individual's religious identity may be situational. Different spiritual traditions and communities may be sought out for assistance, depending on the situation at hand. For example, Christian students may employ sorcery with the objective of improving their individual exam scores or of helping their school's soccer team win in competition against their opponents. Sophisticated urbanites, faced with disease in a family member, may patronize indigenous healers and diviners, and Congolese practicing traditional African religions may go to both established Christian clergy and breakaway Christian sects in search of spiritual assistance.
In the search for spiritual resources, the Congolese have displayed a marked openness and pragmatism. Estimates concerning religion in the DRC Congo vary greatly. There are around 35 million Catholics in the country, representing about half of the total population. There are 41 dioceses; the impact of the Roman Catholic Church in the DRC is enormous. Besides involving over 40 percent of the population in its religious services, its schools have educated over 60 percent of the nation's primary school students and more than 40 percent of its secondary students; the church owns and manages an extensive network of hospitals and clinics, as well as many diocesan economic enterprises, including farms, ranches and artisans' shops. The church's penetration of the country at large is a product of the colonial era; the Belgian colonial state authorized and subsidized the predominantly Belgian Roman Catholic missions to establish schools and hospitals throughout the colony. The church's reversal of its role in relation to the state since independence has been striking.
A reliable ally, it has become the state's most severe institutional critic. Tensions would have been still greater but for divisions within the church and for the ambiguity of the church's role relative to the state. Conflict within the church exists between the lower clergy, who are in day-to-day contact with the population, the higher clergy. Many bishops wished to protect the church's institutional position and to avoid the retaliation that a more militant attack on the state could well provoke. Protestant missionaries have been active since 1878 when the first Protestant mission was founded among the Congo. Early relations with the state were not warm. During the existence of the Congo Free State, some Protestant missionaries witnessed and publicized state and charter company abuses against the population during rubber- and ivory-gathering operations; that evidence helped lead to the international outcry that forced King Léopold II to cede control of the Congo Free State to the Belgian state.
Situated outside of the governing colonial trinity of state, Catholic church, companies, Protestant missions did not enjoy the same degree of official confidence as that accorded their Catholic counterparts. State subsidies for hospitals and schools, for example, were reserved for Catholic institutions until after World War II; the colonial state divided up the colony into spiritual franchises, giving each approved mission group its own territory. At independence in 1960, some forty-six Protestant missionary groups were at work, the majority of them North American, British, or Scandinavian in origin; the missions established a committee to minimize competition among them. This body evolved into a union called the Church of Christ in the Congo, now the Church of Christ in Congo; the Church of Christ developed rules that permitted members of one evangelical congregation to move to and be accepted by another. It established institutions that served common needs, such as bookstores and missionary guest houses.
Since independence, church leadership and control have been and Africanized, though not wit
Hellenism, the Hellenic ethnic religion commonly known as Hellenismos, Hellenic Polytheism, Dodekatheism, or Olympianism, refers to various religious movements that revive or reconstruct ancient Greek religious practices, which have publicly emerged since the 1990s. The Hellenic religion is a traditional religion and way of life, revolving around the Greek Gods focused on the Twelve Olympians, embracing ancient Hellenic values and virtues. In 2017, Hellenism was recognized as a "known religion" in Greece, granting it certain religious freedoms in that country, including the freedom to open houses of worship and for clergy to officiate weddings. There are no official naming practices for the Hellenic religion, the ancient Greeks did not have a word for "religion" in the modern sense; some informal naming conventions have developed since the formation of the first Hellenic religious organizations in the 1990s, based on academically accepted descriptive definitions. "Hellenism" is the most common term, used chiefly as a name for the modern religion by its adherents today, though it can refer to the ancient Greek religion and culture.
The term "Hellenismos" stems from a 4th century AD systematization and revival of Greek religion by the Roman Emperor Julian. Julian used the term to describe traditional Graeco-Roman religion. Additionally, subgroups within Hellenism have used a variety of names to distinguish branches focusing on specific schools of thought, or various different modern traditions. Hellenic religion and Hellenic polytheism are used interchangeably to refer to the religion; the phrase Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism refers to the methodology used by some practitioners to recreate the religion based on academic sources, rather than the religion itself, not all Hellenic Polytheists are reconstructionists. Other organizations, such as Dodekatheon, the Helliniki Hetaireia Archaiophilon, the Thyrsos use a combination of terms interchangeably, including ἑλληνικὴ θρησκεία, Hellenic polytheistic religion, Hellenism. Other terms in common usage by Hellenic polytheists include "Greek reconstructionism" and "Hellenic Traditionalism", but the two are not synonymous.
The American group Elaion uses the term "Dodekatheism" to describe their approach to the Hellenic religion, stating that the term "has been used for some time within and outside Greece to refer to ancient Greek religion and we feel that it is important for those of us outside Greece share a common name and identity with our co-religiosts in the homeland of our spirituality", that the term'Hellenism' is linked too in current use to the modern Greek nation. Hellenic polytheists worship the ancient Greek Gods, or the Hellenic pantheon, including the Olympians, nature divinities, underworld deities and heroes. Both physical and spiritual ancestors are honored, it is a devotional or votive religion, based on the exchange of gifts for the gods' blessings. The ethical convictions of modern Hellenic polytheists are inspired by ancient Greek virtues such as reciprocity, self-control and moderation; the Delphic maxims, Tenets of Solon, the Golden Verses of Pythagoras, or Aristotle's Ethics each function as complete moral codes that a Hellenic Polytheist may observe.
Key to most ethical systems is the idea of kharis, to establish reciprocity between humanity and the gods, between individuals, among community members. Another key value in Hellenic Polytheism is eusebeia translated as piety; this implies a commitment to the worship of the Hellenic gods and action to back this up. There is no central "ecclesia" or hierarchical clergy, though some groups do offer training in that capacity. Individual worshipers are expected to perform their own rituals and learn about the religion and the gods by reference to primary and secondary sources on ancient Greek religion and through personal experience of the gods. Information gained from such personal experiences is referred to in Hellenic groups as "UPG", a term borrowed from Ásatrú, though now used among many pagan religions; the majority of modern historians agree that the religion practiced by the ancient Greeks had been extinguished by at most the 9th century AD, that there is little to no evidence that any of its traditions or beliefs survived past the Middle Ages.
The majority of modern Hellenic polytheist organizations view their religious traditions as either "revivalist" or "reconstructionist", though most modern individual adherents exist somewhere on a Reconstructionist to Revivalist spectrum. Revivalists view Hellenic Polytheism as changing religion. Hellenic Revivalism allows room for practitioners to decide what feels right to them, to adapt historical religious practices to modern life. Reconstructionism is a methodology which attempts to base modern religious practice on culturally and genuine examples of ancient religious practices; the term is used in the United States to differentiate between syncretic and eclectic Neopagan movements, those based on the traditions, writings and mythology of a specific ancient polytheistic culture. In contrast to revivalist traditions, Reconstructionists are culturally oriented and attempt to reconstruct historical forms of religion and spirituality, in a modern context. Therefore, Canaanite, Hellenic, R
Religion in the Gambia
Muslims constitute 90 percent of the population of the Gambia according to CIA factbook. The vast majority are Malikite Sunnis influenced with Sufism, of which the main orders represented are Tijaniyah, Qadiriyah. Except for Ahmadiyya, Sufi orders pray together at common mosques. A small percentage of Muslims, predominantly immigrants from South Asia, do not ascribe to any traditional Islamic school of thought. A significant minority, estimated 9 percent of the population, is Christian, less than 1 percent practice African Traditional Religion; the Christian community, situated in the west and south of the country, is predominantly Roman Catholic. There is a small group of followers of the Baha'i Faith and a small community of Hindus among South Asian immigrants. Intermarriage between Muslims and Christians is common. In some areas and Christianity are syncretized with African Traditional Religion. There are few atheists in the country. Although most Gambians are Muslim, some suggest that Islam is syncretized with the old Traditional African religion such as the Serer religion.
Christians syncretize Christianity with the old Traditional African religion. Articles 17, 25, 32, 33, 212 of the Constitution guarantee and protects the freedom of religion. Article 60 of the constitution prohibits forming political parties that are formed on a religious basis; the Supreme Islamic Council is an independent body. Although not represented on the council, the government provides the council with substantial funding; the country’s president serves as the minister of religious affairs and maintains a formal relationship with the council. Government meetings and events commenced with two prayers, one Islamic and one Christian; the government invited senior officials of both religious groups to open major government events with prayers. The president, a Muslim, delivers a Christmas message to the nation each year and delivers messages for major Muslim feasts; the constitution establishes Qadi courts, with Muslim judges trained in the Islamic legal tradition, in specific areas that the chief justice determines.
The Qadi courts apply sharia law. Their jurisdiction applies only to marriage, custody over children, inheritance questions for Muslims. Sharia applies to interfaith couples where there is one Muslim spouse. Non-Qadi district tribunals, which deal with issues under the customary and traditional law, apply sharia, if relevant when presiding over cases involving Muslims. A five-member Qadi panel has purview over appeals regarding decisions of the Qadi courts and non-Qadi district tribunals relating to sharia. Foreign missionary groups operate in the country; the government does not require religious groups to register. Faith-based nongovernmental organizations must meet the same registration and licensing requirements as other NGOs. Demographics of the Gambia Islam in the Gambia Christianity in the Gambia Serer religion Serer creation myth Religion in Senegal