Afterlife Beliefs

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Explore afterlife beliefs in a variety of cultures and religions. What similarities and differences can you find in beliefs about an afterlife? Focus on either ancient or modern cultures. Compose a written report exploring and comparing these beliefs. Haiti & Ukrainian

The similarities between Haiti and Ukrainian cultures are that they both believe and obey in Christianity. Haiti is famous for its popular religion, known to its practitioners as "serving the lwa” but referred to by the literature and the outside world as voodoo (vodoun). This religious complex is a syncretic mixture of African and Catholic beliefs, rituals, and religious specialists, and its practitioners (sevite) continue to be members of a Catholic parish. Long stereotyped by the outside world as "black magic," vodoun is actually a religion whose specialists derive most of their income from healing the sick rather than from attacking targeted victims. On the other hand, Ukraine experienced a revival of many religions: Ukrainian Orthodox, Ukrainian Catholic, Protestantism, Judaism including Hasidism and Islam. The constitution and the 1991 Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religion provide for separation of church and state and the right to practice the religion of one's choice.

Beliefs concerning the afterlife depend on the religion of the individual. Haiti has strict Catholics and Protestants believe in the existence of reward or punishment after death. Practitioners of voodoo assume that the souls of all the deceased go to an abode "beneath the waters," that is often associated with lafrik gine (Africa). Concepts of reward and punishment in the afterlife are alien to vodoun. Ukrainians observes more on ancient funeral traditions very faithfully. A collective repast follows funeral services and is repeated on the ninth and fortieth days and then again at six and twelve months. An annual remembrance day called Provody on the Sunday after Easter gathers families at ancestral graves to...
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