Santeria, Voodoo, The Cult Of The Virgin Of Guadalupe, And Rastafari

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Santeria, Voodoo, the Cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and Rastafari all embody syncretism of Christian influence and traditional Indigenous beliefs of their followers. While the religions all express their syncretism in various manners, all regularly conduct rituals that deviate from traditional Christianity. These rituals exemplify the influence of the native cultures on these religions, and maintain the importance of tradition culture with the necessity of practicing Christianity during colonial times of religious oppression. Likewise, all of these religions frame their concept of what a “religion” is through their various unique rituals that serve to connect them to their native deities, as well as to the Christian God and Saints.
Santeria
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Like Santeria, Voodoo is a syncretic religion that embodies the beliefs and practices of Christianity with those of traditional West African religions. Voodoo is also a monotheistic religion, with the God Bondye being the supreme creator. Bondye is similar to Olodumare in that he does not interfere with the lives of his believers, so Voodoo practitioners redirect their worship and rituals to spiritual deities known as lwa. Lwa are regularly contacted and worshipped through various forms of rituals; these rituals include altars, possession by spirits, and elaborate ceremonies. The purpose of the rituals is to appease the lwa to lend assistance to believers in times of need, or for general good faith measure, to prevent angering of the lwa and the possible dire consequences that may follow. As with Santeria, the syncretism of Catholic imagery and objects is inherent to the religion, and these objects are usually included in the rituals of Voodoo…show more content…
Feasts and rituals are held in the Virgin’s honor on December 12 of each year, the day she is believed to have appeared to Juan Diego. These feasts and rituals are held throughout Mexico, as well as in cities within the United States cities with large Mexican-American populations. Included in the rituals are imagery and practices native to the Indigenous population Mexico, reinforcing the Virgin’s importance as a deity of to the Indigenous.
In keeping with the general theme of the religions studied, Rastafari is a syncretic religion combining Jamaican, Ethiopian, and Christian beliefs. Like the other religions, Rastafari is monotheistic, worshipping the Abrahamic God, Yah, and his divine son, Yeshua. However, unlike in traditional Christianity, which believes Yeshua, or Jesus, has not returned to Earth, Rastafari believe Yeshua to have been reincarnated as Haile Selassie, the former Emperor of Ethiopia; thus, Rastafari believe Ethiopia to be

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