Caribbean Religious History: An Introduction


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Spiritual Diversity from Rastafarianism to Roman Catholicism

However, many different sects and cultural adaptations of Christianity can be found throughout the islands. From the religions of slaves and indentured servants to styles developed on the islands themselves, the Caribbean is full of a vibrant variety of faiths. This overview of the region's religious beliefs is supplemented by more detailed articles about specific religious practices.

The links to these articles can be found at the bottom of this page. Christianity is the dominant religious style in the region, but local religions also play an important role in the Caribbean. Irish migrants from Britain brought Catholicism with them as well, and the Dutch brought both Catholicism and Dutch Reform beliefs.


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The region's religions became even more mixed when the islands were claimed by different nations, as they often were throughout the Caribbean's early history. But religious diversity exists even on the islands that rarely or never changed hands.

Caribbean Religions: History of Study

Slavery and indentured servitude brought many people with many different faiths to the islands. Still, the biggest challenge and support to the growth of Christianity was slavery. Slaves from Africa brought their own religious and spiritual practices with them, some of which combined with Catholic practices and became entirely new religions, while some spiritual beliefs simply occurred out of sight of the white masters.

The five major world religions - John Bellaimey

Many of the Caribbean-born slaves were indoctrinated into Christianity. In fact, the end of slavery helped encourage some religious diversity in the islands.

Caribbean Religious History: An Introduction - Ennis B. Edmonds, Michelle A. Gonzalez - كتب Google

East Indian immigrants brought their own beliefs and practices to the region. Almost one quarter of the population of Trinidad and Tobago is Hindu - one of the highest concentrations of Hindu people in the world.


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  • Small populations of Jews and Muslims also live in the Caribbean. In more recent years, Caribbean natives have even formed their own religion.


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    • Rastafarianism is Christianity with a distinctly Caribbean style. This pro-African religion uses the Bible as its base text but takes a decidedly different reading than that of more traditional Christian sects. Like many things Jamaican, it also stands out for political and social causes.

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      Data divides religions out of a total population of 23,, in surveyed Caribbean countries as follows:. The many distinct religions in the Caribbean can be divided into Christianity, Afro-Caribbean Creolized religions with Rastafarianism taking a bit from each of these groups and East Indian religions. Although some may be better known than others, Christianity is by far the dominant religion, although the popularity of specific denominations varies across the region.

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      Religion in the Caribbean

      Creole Religions of the Caribbean offers a comprehensive introduction to the syncretic religions that have developed in the region. This second edition updates the scholarship on the religions themselves and also expands the regional considerations of the Diaspora to the U.

      Latino community who are influenced by Creole spiritual practices.

      Fernindez Olmos and ParavisiniOCoGebert also take into account the increased significance of material cultureOCoart, music, literatureOCoand healing practices influenced by Creole religions. In the Religion, Race, and Ethnicity series".

      Caribbean Religious History: An Introduction Caribbean Religious History: An Introduction
      Caribbean Religious History: An Introduction Caribbean Religious History: An Introduction
      Caribbean Religious History: An Introduction Caribbean Religious History: An Introduction
      Caribbean Religious History: An Introduction Caribbean Religious History: An Introduction
      Caribbean Religious History: An Introduction Caribbean Religious History: An Introduction

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