What Are the Main Religions in Africa?

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The main religions in Africa include Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism and traditional African religion. Traditional African religion encompasses all the religious beliefs of the indigenous African people.

Most of Africa’s organized religions were brought to the country from Europeans and other foreign settlers. Traditional African religion is still popular throughout Africa and stems from the beliefs of Central and West African ancestors.

More than 100 million Africans still adhere to the traditional African religions. They worship secondary deities such as Da, Ogoun, Mbari, Esu and Agwu, and these gods serve other, more important gods such as, Roog, Olodumare, Nyame and Chukwu. Each god has their own priest or priestess.

In African religion, ancestors and the elderly go hand in hand. Those people who follow this religious path believe in respecting their elders and believe older people have a strong religious connection with the ancestors. The ancestors are generally thought of as kind unless a person has taken the wrong path in his or her life. Then, the ancestors will cause a minor illness to the person as a warning. If an ancestor becomes unhappy or angry, an offering of meat or beer is offered to appease him.

Despite many Africans adhering to traditional religions, a majority follow the Christian or Islam religions. Roughly 40 percent of Africa’s population follow one of these religions and many combine Christianity or Islam with more traditional practices.