Traditional Indigenous spiritualities among Africans, both in Africa and in the diaspora, are flourishing and its popularity is on the rise across the globe. . In Lagos, Nigeria, for example, shrines compete with churches and mosques in adherents and positions. Beyond Africa, the rise of African spiritualities has become conspicuous and now accepted throughout the United States and the Caribean as the true alternative spiritual practise to Christianity and Islam. . There are several reasons for the popularity and rise of African Spirituality. From Afrocentrism to anti-religious tendencies to the popular religions, from racial animosity to politico-economic ideologies, and failure of Christianity and Islam to meet contemporary needs of Africans and non-Africans alike.
Many religious experts see the rise of African Spirituality as part of the African and Afro-centyric renaissance. For the first time in many centuries, Africa as the original home of Christianity and Islam is once again reintroducing the true nature of African Spirituality to a global platform. A good way to indulge in this would be to understand the spirit of Africa, in the traditional spiritualities that constructed orientations and worldviews of the people. Understanding and addressing African spiritualities constitute an important key in understanding the true pre-colonial African identity.
The Spiritual and Mental liberation of Africans lies in African spirituality
For millions of practitioners of African spirituality, healing often comes in the form of liberation and resistance. These traditions are made even more pressing considering the centuries-long attempts by European, colonists, and neo-colonists to suppress and demonize these spiritual practises. And now, in a time when America’s racist foundation has been pushed to the foreground, seeking solace in this connection feels especially poignant. Besides, the creation of the first African Republic of Haiti and freedom from slavery, and the defeat of Napoleon by Africans were credited wholly attributed to their practice of African Spirituality.
An engraving–probably made from a contemporary artist’s sketch–shows the eight Haitian “voodoo” devotees found guilty in February 1864 of the murder and cannibalism of a 12-year-old child. From Harper’s Weekly.
Traditional African spirituality does not condemn nor discouraged other religious practices. Unlike Christianity and Islam that condemn and discouraged other religious practices, African spiritual practice is an umbrella term for an assortment of beliefs that may or may not fit into a particular dogma. It can be Ifá, Santería, Candomblé, or other variations of Edo-Yoruba religious traditions, coming from the West African region of Edo-Ancient Benin Empire located in present-day southwestern Nigeria.. Deemed to be over 20,000 years old, the commonality of the Edo-Yoruba traditions is a reverence for spirits that reflect aspects of nature or Orishas Osanobua, as well as one’s ancestors. Integration of African religious tradition can manifest as ancestor reverence and nature-based spirituality.
The key element of African Spirituality is its individuality … No charismatic, miracle-making pastor is needed. One’s relationship with Almighty God is solely based on one’s efforts, dedication, actions. In other words, African Spiritual practices demand is daily and not one Sunday of the week. Its practice MUST become a way of life instead of a Sunday social event. African Spirituality truly has the potential to free Africans spiritually and mentally.
Afro World News