Are Africans Now Ditching ‘Alien’ Religions?

Some argued that the continent of Africa is without identity, but while this is likely, highly erroneous, the decolonization process championed by Pan Africanists across the continent is seeing many young people, abandon the Abrahamic religions to wide verities of tradition believes, predominantly influenced by culture and traditions.

Most religion practices in Africa have their origins in other parts of the world. Christianity and Islam are the most widespread religions in the continent, taking its experience of colonialism. Other religions such as Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism among others are practice in different parts of Africa. However, there is increasing abandonment of these religions especially, among the youthful population.

While there are few, sporadic studies for the determination of the scale and the factors responsible, the social media has undoubtedly been a prominent feature causing mostly “secret desertion” from what would come to be described as “alien” religions. Irreligiousness in Africa also has its traditional source as the philosophy of Ubuntu, which is deeply “rooted in a secular humanistic framework”. Ubuntu was widely observed across the continent, it was the shaper of lives in the African setting.

Prior to the intervention of the Europeans and Arabs into the continent,  several ‘traditional’ religions existed in Africa such as the Bantu, Zulu mythology, A tat roog, Akan religion, Dinka religion among others. Conversely, these religions came to be dominated by Islam and Christianity mostly because of forceful conversion, demonization of the indigenous religions amid other tactics.

Southern Africa has the highest percentage of irreligious people within the continent, South Africa and Botswana recording up to 15 and 20 percent of nonreligious people respectively.

African Americans took Christianity for example, to be a “tool of keeping the status quo”. The so-called ‘alien religions’ however, still maintain a strong footing in the continent.

The question that remains unanswered is whether the decolonization of the continent can be complete without the rejection of foreign religions?