African and african diasporic religions: reflections on the relevance and prospects of african indigenous religion


  • Ojetayo Gabriel Kehinde



African, African traditional religion, community, culture and diaspora.


The importance of Religion in any human community cannot be over emphasized. Man’s need to reach out to the divine being higher and mightier than himself appears to be both basic and universal. Man felt this need when mystified by forces of nature, threatened by ferocious wild beasts and perplexed by death and hereafter. The affirmation of transcendental being is the core of religion. Hardly did any human civilization row in early times without giving due recognition to religion. This paper posits that before the advent of foreign religions there had been the indigenous religion upheld by African forebears and passed on to succeeding generations. The paper argues that African Traditional Religion is the religion which emerged from the sustaining faith held by the forebears of the present African generation and which is being practiced today in various forms and intensities by a good number of people irrespective of their colour, tribe or race, openly or surreptitiously. The studies reveals that African Traditional Religion is not a fossil religion (a thing of the past) but a religion that Africans today have made theirs by living it and practicing it. Although African Traditional Religion with minority of adherents all over the globe had spread to some areas on the planet earth especially where Africans are found and has influenced the lives of even non-Africans. African Traditional Religion is found in America especially, the Caribbean Islands, Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad, Cuba and Brazil among others. The researcher employed historical method in carrying out the research.