Africans Are Religious, But Who Else?

Africans have been exposed to new forms of spirituality over the past centuries, leading to the decline of traditional African religions. Some Africans in the 20th century referred to these new belief systems as “the religion of the White.”

Migration and New Discoveries

In search of better opportunities, Africa has seen a high level of immigration in recent decades. Many immigrants were deeply devoted to their faiths. However, they encountered a surprising challenge: rather than finding many places of worship and large congregations in their destination countries, they met many people who were either slightly or completely uninterested in religion. By the 21st century, Africa ranked as the most religious continent in the world, even surpassing the countries that sent missionaries to Africa.

Some Africans began to fall out with the newfound faiths of their forefathers. Today, some Africans believe that the high level of religiosity in Africa is due to widespread inequality and lack of necessities. Others question certain religious practices, leading to the philosophy that “Africans are religious.”

Evidence of Spirituality in Ancient Times

The idea that only Africans value spirituality is not accurate. Archaeological evidence and the continuity of certain religious practices show that every region had its belief systems in ancient times. Let’s explore evidence from two major artifacts: ancient artworks and texts.

Ancient Artworks

Ancient artworks, including sculptures and paintings, demonstrate that spiritual beliefs and practices are as old as humanity. For instance, here are various gods people worshipped in ancient times:

  1. God of Harvest – Various cultures had gods associated with harvest.
  2. God of Sexual Love and Beauty – Aphrodite (Greece)
  3. God of Water – Enki (Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq)
  4. God of Wealth and Time – Saturn (Rome)
  5. God of Iron – Ogun (Nigeria)
  6. God of Thunder – Sango (Nigeria)
  7. Sun God – Ra (Egypt)

Ancient Texts

Humanity was involved in religious practices before writing texts. Archaeological evidence shows that ancient Egyptians and Indians had the oldest, known religious texts. Egyptian texts include the Pyramid Texts, Book of the Dead, and Coffin Texts. The Indian texts include the Vedas, foundational to Hinduism. Other ancient texts are linked to Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq, and northeastern Syria.

Texts from the Hebrew Bible also existed in ancient times, indicating that the Jewish religion and other religious practices existed before Christianity. Both Christianity and Judaism share the Old Testament, highlighting their historical connection.

These examples show that spirituality has always been an integral part of human life, predating the popular religions of today.

We are Religious by Nature

Why did our forefathers across various continents prioritise spirituality? Humanity has always sought to connect with a higher power due to the uncertainties of life, which often arouse fear. Every god is associated with certain benefits because our forefathers sought protection, guidance, success, and bountiful harvests. The ancient Egyptians even regarded Pharaoh as a god on Earth. On the other hand, the Jews believed in the God of Israel for protection, who is invisible and must not be represented in image. Today, Christianity and Islam have spread globally. Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and traditional African religion are also been practised, indicating that human desire for worship has not changed.

How Your Belief Impacts Your Mental Health

We have established that humans have an innate desire for worship. Suppressing this desire can affect your emotional well-being, and making the wrong decision regarding religion can worsen it. So, what can you do?

If you decide to embrace religion, take your time to evaluate your choice. If your belief promotes peace, love, hope, and faith in divinity, it can provide calmness and mental relief during distressing situations. Besides, the belief itself should not cause you pain or emotional distress.

In the article titled “Becoming: The Power of Your Mantra,” we suggest the mantra “Thank you (God) for everything.” This mantra can help rewire your mind and bring peace and calmness to your soul when you are troubled.

Feeling helpless can cause emotional stress and lead to mental health issues. Stanza 34 in the poem “Suicide And My Soul: A Poem 1 Minute Before Suicide” reads:

Nowhere to lie
Wake up, save your life
Look heavenward, speak to the Most High
When the Almighty is through, fly high

Stanza 34 – “Suicide And My Soul: A Poem 1 Minute Before Suicide

That reminds you that the Supreme One understands your concerns, providing hope and helping you stand firm in times of distress.

The Treasure of Every Hugger

As Huggers, we welcome everyone, regardless of their beliefs. Our goal is to create a community where everyone is empowered to achieve mental well-being through education and events promoting relaxation, exploration, financial health, networking, and healthy habits. We encourage you to make decisions that benefit your mental health.

Your belief is a personal decision, and you are responsible for your mental health. Do not base your decision on public opinion or fear. If you feel endangered based on your belief, move to a safer location. Search your soul to discover your strengths, weaknesses, and innermost desires. Engage in in-depth research combined with visible reality and make decisions that benefit your mental well-being.


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