Africa is a big place, with 51 independent countries today, and hundreds of independent tribes before... and each one has its own way to practice religion!.. Inhabited by two major groups: The "Caucasoid", in North Africa, Egypt and Sudan, with brown eyes, light olive kin, and high- bridged narrow noses. And the "Black", in the rest of Africa. Some, notably the Tutsy are very tall in east central Africa. The Pygmies are one of the shortest people in the world, in tropical central Africa.
In tropical Africa alone some 1,000 different languages are spoken... and in each language there are many tribes and religious systems. Arabic is predominant in northern Africa. Berber is also spoken in in northern Africa. Bantu languages are spoken throughout central and eastern Africa. Zulu is a Bantu language spoken in South Africa. Sudanic is spoken in the large grassland region south of the Sahara. Hausa spoken in western Africa... and on top of it, many countries, after their independence, kept as official also a European language: French, English, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Dutch... In South Africa, the Afrikaan is a German language derived from 17th century Dutch
Their "primitive religions" are based on nature worship, and may have in common the 3 kind of occultism: Divination, witchcraft (magic) and spiritism, with the "sacrifice" of animals, and sometimes of humans, to calm the gods-demons; and reverence for the "ancestors"... often, the head of the tribe, or the Pharos, is "the god", though in each tribe there may be many "gods-demons"... See Animism.
In general, they have two kinds of diviners: The isangoma of the Zulu, is a medium who can make contact with the ancestral spirits and prescribe medicines according to their dictates. And the isanus, also in the Zulu, is a diviner capable of "smelling out" sorceress and other evil-doers. The herbalists, inyanga yokewlapha in the Zulu, have the tasks, still today, to administer medicines made from plants and animals.
The Muslims in the North, and the Christians in the South of the Sahara Desert, have changed most of African religion... but it is estimated that more than 40% of Africans still practice "animism", often in syncretism with their new Christian or Muslim religions.
I just came from South Africa and I was impressed with their National Anthem which starts with the words Lord have mercy on Africa... it is like a Psalm!... and I had the opportunity to experience the simple and glorious natural life of some of the cultures of the Zulu, Shosa, Ndebele, Venda, Tsonga, Basotho, Tswana, Pedi, Ntwana, San... and though they are vanishing cultures, there is much to learn from them: Their respect to their chiefs, parents and ancestors, their simple industrious life, their joy in celebrating anything with beautiful songs and dances lived in a fraternal community...
1- "Santeria" and "Macumba" (from Nigeria):
See Art Gallery-Santeria
In Nigeria, the Ju-Ju tribe of the Yoruba culture has a religion with 600 gods who are demons, because the "false gods" are "demons" (Psa.96:5).
They came to Cuba and Brazil with the slaves.
From Cuba, with the name "Santeria", they came to Miami, New York... only in Miami there are 20,000 Santero-priests (babalaos).
In Brazil its name is "Macumba" (sanctuary), and only in Rio de Janeiro there are 65,000 temples, with 40 million Brazilians combining Christian beliefs with Spirit worship.
Both in Cuba and Brazil 25 gods-demons were given the names of "Catholic Saints", therefore, the new name "Santeria" in Spanish, or "Macumba" (sanctuary), in Portuguese.
The supreme deity, and the father of all the gods, is "Olurun", represented by Jesus Christ on the cross. But the 3 most popular are "Obatalá" (O.L. of Mercy"); "Changó" (St. Barbara); and "Ochún" (Virgin of Charity)... but these gods are no God, they practice adultery, homosexuality, incest, they hate and fight each other... for example, "Yemayá" (Virgin of Regla), had 14 children in incest-impossible relations with her son "Orungán" (Baby Jesus)... there are "gods-demons"!... demons!... (Psalm 96:5)
To become a "santero" it may cost $10,000, with the right to use the "snail shells" for divination or magic, charging about $500 for each work of magic; those who do not have the $10,000, can became "smaller Santeros", but they only can use "coconuts" for their divination or magic.
To become a "santero-priest", a "babalao", is more expensive, but he has the right to offer "sacrifices of animals" for magic.
2- "Abacua" and "Candomble" (from Nigeria):
Also from Nigeria came the "Abacua" to Cuba, and the "Candomble" to Brazil, mainly to the Bahia area. They are worse than the Santeria, using mainly "black magic", to take vengeance, to injury or even to kill an enemy. They may offer to the gods "humans", instead of animal sacrifices.
3- "Palo Mayombe", "Umbanda" (from Congo):
Both came from the bantues tribes of Congo; "Palo Mayombe" to Cuba, and "Umbanda" to Brazil... They are the worse!... they use black magic to destroy or kill an enemy... instead of the snail shells used by the santeros, the "paleros" use the "kettle", the "nganga", a boiler, where they put rests of a human cadaver recently death, plus the cadaver of a black dog, and scorpions, worms, plants... and they introduce in it 28 "palos" (sticks), the basis of their black magic.
See Art Gallery (Santeria)
4- "Voodoo" and "Hoodoo" (from Begin):
From the kingdom of Dahomy, in the present country of Begin, the "Voodoo" or "Vadium" came to Haiti, and from Haiti to New Orleans and Mississippi, with the name of "Hoodoo".
It is the religion of the "serpent", the supreme god-devil, "Dambalah"... and the "Great Zombi".
The priest, Queen or King, Mama or Papa, is mostly a woman, the "mambo"... and their feasts end up in a naked orgy, adoring the serpent, with the use of stimulant and aphrodisiac incenses, plus the drinking of drugs, mainly "tafia"...
In New Orleans is very private, with many government regulations... but in Haiti they have a "tour" to bring you to a real Woodoo session... and you are going to get it, the "power", the "gris-gris", with the odor and smoke of the incense, even if you don't drink any tafia... you may "become like a zombi" for 3 weeks, with a terrible headache for over a year, as one of my patients...
Condemned by the Bible, with very strong words "abominations to God", "stone them to death" (Deut.18, Lev.20)... for 3 reasons:
1- Because it is a "polytheistic religion". There is only one God, and any other god is a demon (Psalm 96:5).
2- For the practice of "occultism". They actually use the three kinds of Occultism!.
3- For the "sacrilege" of using Christian Saints to mask their god-demons, creating confusion among many ignorant believers.
Condemnation in the Bible
The Church also condemns them very strongly: You can't go to the santero and then to communion; you can not receive communion with the medal of St. Barbara or a Santeria collar... they are "very grave sins", "prostitution against God".
Please, take off the medal of St. Barbara, it is not the Catholic Saint, but the devil Changó; do not use the "Santeria collars", because you are inviting devils into your life; St. Lazarus, is not the Catholic Saint, but the demon Babalu-Aye...
See Art Gallery (Egyptian Gods)
Is the religion of an afterlife, with the pyramids of the gods-pharaohs, and the tombs of the mummified bulls... besides the bull, the Egyptians worshiped the falcons, cats, jackals, crocodiles...
Their gods are based on the forces of nature, and they have over 50 gods-devils, who are no God... they fight each other, are jealous, and the most loved, Osiris and Isis, were brothers and husband and wife. The chief god was "Ra", the sun god, to whom all obelisks are dedicated; the pharaohs were reincarnation of Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis, the forerunner of Venus in Rome.
The "Book of the Dead" and the "Wisdom Literature" are good codices of moral ethics... the one who does good, goes to eternal happiness; the bad ones are destroyed by Seth, the evil one