Topics: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade, African people Pages: 3 (779 words) Published: April 27, 2014
Ricardo French

Intro to Caribbean Religions

Research Paper 2


During the 17th and 18th centuries, European colonialism in the Caribbean became extremely profitable. Europeans took over the the land from the local natives and used its natural resources to be sold for profit. The Europeans also became increasingly reliant on slave labor to harvest the land, which also caused the slave trade to become profitable. Native Africans were forcibly removed from their homes in Africa and were traded to slave masters in the Caribbean where they endured a long history of racism, violence, and oppression. The Europeans would force their Catholic faith on the slaves in attempts to make them more submissive. They also believed that they were carrying out God's will by converting slaves, who were largely considered to be devil worshipers.

Europeans at the time largely held Christian views employed by the Catholic Church; and because of their ethnocentric approach they lacked an understanding of the African culture. This is still an issue that has affected African cultures in the Caribbean to this day. The Catholic Church's belief in God and the divinity of Jesus Christ strongly deterred other religions, and considered them paganism. The Catholic Church also used their beliefs as propaganda tools to make the slaves feel inferior. The Europeans persecuted the slaves for practicing their faith, which caused them to hide their beliefs behind Catholic saints, or convert all together. It wasn't until the slaves rediscovered their ancient roots, that they were finally able to become inspired to stand against their oppressors. Ancient religion in Africa most notably stems from Yoruba, which is a system of traditional religious practices and spiritual concepts of the Yoruba people.

One of the notable variants of Yoruba is Candomble, which was brought to Brazil by enslaved priests and has had a great impact on the Afro-Brazilian Culture. Afro-Brazilian’s...
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