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Essay on Indigenous Religion

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Indigenous religions, full of vibrancy and color, are often misconstrued or written off as primitive. Examples include: Animism, a belief system that stretches back to the earliest human and is still in practice today. It is thought to be a dangerous, shamanistic religious practice that is looked upon negatively. Buddhism, a religion that people believe is practiced only by environmentalists and the “hippies” of the world. The reality is it is practiced by the majority of East Asia. It has a powerful spiritual leader that has done a lot to bring awareness about the suffering of his country. And Vodou, which is misinterpreted to be a dangerous, violent religion where people participate in sacrificial rituals and wild sexual orgies. It is actually a religion that helps the people of Haiti survive and thrive. The indigenous religions of the world are vastly important to the people who participate in them, and need to be understood and respected.
Animism is the root of most religions. The concept or idea that all things have a soul is inherent in most religions. This core belief combined with the practice of shamanism has been misunderstood. The belief that all things have a soul relates to occultism and magic. Shamanism is mistaken to be dangerous and ritualistic violence. Ignorance of how these indigenous beliefs and rituals are practiced in animism has lead to fear and rejection of animism as a cultural belief system.
Animism has much to do with death and afterlife. It shares the belief with many religions that spirits move on from the physical body to some other place at death. If you have been a good person and were buried by your village or town, you would go to a place where all crops are always fertile, and rejoin your ...


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