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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

A new religion?

Posted by on Jun. 4, 2014 at 1:29 AM
  • 10 Replies

THE minibuses that ferry Sierra Leoneans around their capital, Freetown, bear a variety of religious slogans. “Trust in Allah,” reads one, while others evoke the power of Christ. But one stands out. Somewhere, plying the potholed streets, is a bus bearing the words “God loves Allah”.

Sierra Leone takes religious tolerance seriously. Not only are relations between the two main religious groups in the west African country cordial, but it is not unusual to be both Christian and Muslim. Hassan Kargbo is one of thousands of Sierra Leoneans who have become known as a “ChrisMus”. He identifies himself as a Muslim, but also believes in Christianity. Before he starts work on Sundays, he goes to church. He visits a mosque every day. “I see it as the same religion,” he says, sporting a Jesus bracelet. “All of us say it’s the same god that we’re worshipping.”

Kelfala Conteh is a caretaker at the oldest mosque in Freetown. “Of course [Christians] come here,” he says with pride. “We have both Christians and Muslims praying side by side. No fighting. Jesus was the messenger to tell the people to worship the one god. I respect him after Muhammad. I believe in the Bible and the Koran.”

Sierra Leone straddles Africa’s religious equator, where the Muslim north meets the Christian south. Other countries in the region are experiencing religious violence, with Islamist militants creating mayhem in the Central African Republic, Mali and Nigeria.

But in Sierra Leone the president, Ernest Bai Koroma, a Christian, was elected by voters who are roughly 70% Muslim. His vice-president is a Muslim. Marriage across sectarian lines is common, as are conversions. Neither religion played a part in the county’s civil war in the 1990s. “We all believe in one God,” says Wurie Bah, a Muslim from Freetown. “If my friends invite me to church, of course I will go.”

by on Jun. 4, 2014 at 1:29 AM
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Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jun. 4, 2014 at 1:30 AM
1 mom liked this

Syncretism /ˈsɪŋkrətɪzəm/ is the combining of different, often seemingly contradictory beliefs, while melding practices of variousschools of thought. Syncretism involves the merger and analogizing of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theologyand mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths.


Recently developed religious systems that exhibit marked syncretism include the New World religions Candomblé21 Division,Vodou and Santería, which analogize various Yorùbá and other African deities to the Roman Catholic saints. Some sects of Candomblé have also incorporated Native American deities, and Umbanda combined African deities with Kardecist spiritualism.

Hoodoo is a similarly derived form of folk magic practiced by some African American communities in the Southern United States. Other traditions of syncretic folk religion in North America include Louisiana Voodoo as well as Pennsylvania Dutch Pow-wow, in which practitioners profess to invoke power through the Christian God.

Many historical Native American religious movements have incorporated Christian European influence, like the Native American Church, the Ghost Dance, and the religion of Handsome Lake.

Unitarian Universalism also provides an example of a modern syncretic religion. It traces its roots to Universalist and UnitarianChristian congregations. However, modern Unitarian Universalism freely incorporates elements from other religious and non-religious traditions, so that it no longer identifies as "Christian."

The Theosophical Society, as opposed to Theosophy, professes to go beyond being a syncretic movement that combines deities into an elaborate Spiritual Hierarchy, and assembles evidence that points to an underlying (or occult) reality of Being that is universal and interconnected, common to all spirit-matter dualities. It is maintained that this is the source of religious belief, each religion simply casting that one reality through the prism of that particular time and in a way that is meaningful to their circumstances.

Universal Sufism seeks the unity of all people and religions. Universal Sufis strive to "realize and spread the knowledge of Unity, the religion of Love, and Wisdom, so that the biases and prejudices of faiths and beliefs may, of themselves, fall away, the human heart overflow with love, and all hatred caused by distinctions and differences be rooted out."[25]

In Vietnam, Caodaism blends elements of BuddhismCatholicism and Taoism.

Several new Japanese religions, (such as Konkokyo and Seicho-No-Ie), are syncretistic.

The Nigerian religion Chrislam combines Christian and Islamic doctrines.

Thelema is a mixture of many different schools of belief and practice, including Hermeticism, Eastern MysticismYoga, 19th centurylibertarian philosophies (i.e. Nietzsche), occultism, and the Kabbalah, as well as ancient Egyptian and Greek religion.

Examples of strongly syncretist Romantic and modern movements with some religious elements include mysticismoccultism,Theosophical Society, modern astrologyNeopaganism, and the New Age movement.

In China, most of the population follows syncretist religions combining Mahayana BuddhismTaoism and elements of Confucianism. Out of all Chinese believers, approximately 85.7% adhere to Chinese traditional religion, as many profess to be both Mahayana Buddhist and Taoist at the same time. Many of the pagodas in China are dedicated to both Buddhist and Taoist deities.

In Réunion, the Malbars combine elements of Hinduism and Christianity.

The Unification Church, founded by religious leader Sun Myung Moon in South Korea in 1954. Its teachings are based on the Bible, but include new interpretations not found in mainstream Judaism and Christianity and incorporates Asian traditions.[26][27]

The traditional Mun faith of the Lepcha people predates their seventh century conversion to Lamaistic Buddhism. Since that time, the Lepcha have practiced it together with Buddhism. Since the arrival of Christian missionaries in the nineteenth century, Mun traditions have been followed alongside that faith as well. The traditional religion permits incorporation of Buddha and Jesus Christ as a deities, depending on household beliefs.[28][29][30]

jllcali
by Jane on Jun. 4, 2014 at 1:32 AM
Interesting
AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Jun. 4, 2014 at 2:25 AM
I've actually wondered why there aren't more of these religious hybrids between Islam and Christianity. The equivalent of Jews for Jesus.
Maybe it will spread in a positive way.

Yeah righT
Sisteract
by Whoopie on Jun. 4, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Amen.

Good for them for approaching religion with some common sense.

Neighboring nations should take a look and learn.

numbr1wmn
by Nikki on Jun. 4, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Good for them.

Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Jun. 4, 2014 at 10:46 AM
Just curious Clair, do you think this is a good thing?

Or would you prefer mankind to follow a more rational realistic believe system?
Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jun. 4, 2014 at 10:47 AM


Quoting Donna6503:

Just curious Clair, do you think this is a good thing? Or would you prefer mankind to follow a more rational realistic believe system?

I've no preference between syncretic religions and non-syncretic religions.

Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Jun. 4, 2014 at 10:50 AM
I understand that, but, do you think (or feel) that mankind would be better served without any sort of faith?

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting Donna6503: Just curious Clair, do you think this is a good thing?

Or would you prefer mankind to follow a more rational realistic believe system?

I've no preference between syncretic religions and non-syncretic religions.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jun. 4, 2014 at 10:58 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Donna6503:

do you think (or feel) that mankind would be better served without any sort of faith?

Back in pre-historic times, religiosity evolved.  Probably for a reason, but possibly as a spandrel.  Either way, it wasn't heavily selected against.

However, since the advent of cities and patriarchal hierarchies, the preponderance of evidence so far does suggest that organised religion has had a net negative effect.

As technology advances, and the size of group needed to produce or gain control of weapons of mass destruction decreases, the equation is changing.  The type of thinking that places faith above evidence leads to anomalies such as the Aum Shinrikyo, who would without doubt have wiped out most of humanity if they'd been able to get their hands on the means to do so.   In 30 years time, a group of that same size and dedication WILL be able to get their hands on the means.

Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Jun. 4, 2014 at 11:27 AM
Hmmm, I having a hard time responding to you here, I do agree with most of you here in your reply.

Yet, I could see a case that organized faith is far more effective in dealing with movements like Aum Shinrikyo ... do you really feel that effectively communicating nihilism or even a broader existentialism.
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