Monday, April 19, 2010

Survey: 1 in 4 Christians in Africa Hold to Indigenous Beliefs

About one in every four Christian in sub-Sahara Africa believes sacrifices to spirits or ancestors can protect them from bad things happening, according to the results of a recently released, 19-country survey on religious attitudes in Africa.

“Sizable percentages of both Christians and Muslims - a quarter or more in many countries - say they believe in the protective power of juju (charms or amulets),” reported the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, the behalf of which the survey was conducted on.

In Tanzania and South Africa – where 60 percent and 87 percent of respondents, respectively, claimed to be Christian – more than half the people surveyed (60 percent and 56 percent, respectively) said they believe that sacrifices to ancestors or spirits can protect them from harm.

“Many people also say they consult traditional religious healers when someone in their household is sick, and sizable minorities in several countries keep sacred objects such as animal skins and skulls in their homes and participate in ceremonies to honor their ancestors,” the Pew Forum added.

The survey also found that while majorities in almost every country say that Western music, movies and television have harmed morality in their nation, majorities in most countries also say they personally like Western entertainment.

Only two countries – Tanzania and Ethiopia – had large majorities saying that they don’t like Western TV, movies and music.

To read more, click here.

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