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    a place to find hope for the desolate

  • Being African

     

    The people living in the continent of Africa are referred to as Africans, just as people of America as referred to as Americans and people living in India are referred to as Indians. Not only people presently living in the continent of Africa are called as Africans but also people who were born in and/or associated with Africa in any way are referred to as Africans.

     

    Africa is the second largest continent in the world both in terms of area covered as well as population.  The people representing in any of the 53 independent countries in the continent are referred to as Africans.  Not only do the people but anything and everything associated with Africa are referred to Africans.

     

    For example, if you were to talk about Sudan, largest country in the continent by means of area, we may refer it to as an African country.  The point is anything related to Africa is referred to as African.

     

    People of African origin living in America are referred to as African-Americans.

     

    The major religions followed in the African continent are Christianity and Islam. More than 80% of the African population is followers of Christianity. It is believed that Christianity existed in Africa even before King Ezana’s rule of the Great Kingdom of Axum.  The earliest and best known reference to the introduction of Christianity was when the evangelist Phillip converted an Ethiopian traveler in the 1st Century AD from the Acts of the Apostles. Although the bible refers to them as Ethiopians, scholars have argued that Ethiopia was a common term used for encompassing the area South-Southeast of Egypt. Other traditions have the convert as a Jew who was a steward in the Queen’s court.

     

    The second major religion followed in the African continent is Islam. Islam has adherents throughout Africa and it is one the most widely practiced religions on the continent.  Its historic roots in Africa stem from the time of its founder Muhammad whose relatives and followers migrated on a hijra to Abyssinia in fear of persecution from the pagan Arabs. Islam is the dominant religion in North Africa and the Horn of Africa, and it is also well established and prominent in the Sahel  and along the coast of East Africa.

     

    In addition to the two major religion, a number of traditional religions are also in existence in the vast continent of Africa.  Traditional African religion encompasses a wide variety traditional beliefs. Traditional religious customs are sometimes shared by many African societies, but they are usually unique to specific ethnic groups. Many African Christians and Muslims maintain some aspects of their traditional religions.

     

    Some of the traditional religions followed in the Western part of Africa include the worship of Legba, the god of crossroads, the Sango, the god of thunder and the god of Orounmila/Eboh.  According to the Legba religion, the god of crossroads acts as a messenger to other gods.  It is believed that Sango, the god of thunder, will protect its royals. The attire in red and white are used for the worship of this god.


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