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Religions of the world


Santeria: a syncretistic
African/Roman Catholic religion

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Santeria is also known as: Regla de Ocha,
La Regla Lucumi, Lukumi, etc.

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Santeria is a syncretistic religion of Caribbean origin. It combines:

bullet The worship of the Orisha (literally "head guardian") and other beliefs of the Ifa religion, as practiced by the Yoruba and Bantu people in Southern Nigeria, Senegal and Guinea Coast, and

bullet Elements of worship taken from Roman Catholicism. 

Its origin dates back to Cuba and Brazil circa 1515 CE. During the time of the slave trade, Yoruba natives were forcibly transported from Africa to the Caribbean. They were typically baptized by the Roman Catholic church upon arrival, and their native practices were suppressed. They developed a novel way of keeping their old beliefs alive by equating the each Orisha of their traditional religions with a corresponding Christian Saint.

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Topics covered in this section:

bullet Terminology; the numbers and locations of its followers
bullet Beliefs and practices
bullet Conflicts
bullet Internet resources and books

Copyright 1995 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2015-APR-13
Author: B.A. Robinson

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