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Home Forums African History African Spiritual Beliefs: Who is God in Africa?

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    Ruba Kamal



      There are no such beliefs that are standalone in the identification and worship of God in Africa.



      It is however possible to identify this with spiritual and ritual processes through which the majority believe a Supreme Being they worship communicates with and answers their desires and wishes. There are several ways by which the typical African worships, and with the advent of Christianity, Islam, and other religious beliefs, they still find it as a way of communicating with the creator of all living things and the universe.



      African religions hold that there is only one creator, the maker, and guidance of all good things around them and the earth. They hold a belief that the Creator of life and the universe after creation withdrew from interrupting human interactions and daily living and rather sits back and governs everything remotely.



      Despite the general African belief in a Supreme Being, prayers, sacrifices, and worship are directed to an intermediary between them and the spirit realms. These intermediaries are divinities who are believed to be messengers of the Supreme Being. Nyame, the Creator as recognized in Asante, Ghana, West Africa is believed to be the Creator and is usually revered by the elders and seeking blessings. The most significant aspect of the ritual life of the Asante people is the religious zeal and rigor with which they consider their ancestors the guardians of the moral order.



      The Mali people recognize the Creator as Amma who brought the world to existence by mixing spoken words with primordial elements. The Yoruba tribe in South-Western Nigeria, West Africa, holds the belief that God, Olorun, oversees a chain of secondary deities, and devotion to orisha as the deity is widespread, but Olorun has no intermediaries.



      In East Africa, the Supreme Being, Mulungu, is thought to be omnipresent but is only petitioned when there aren’t as many as any other resorts. The Nuer people found in South Sudan as well as the Dinka tribe refers to God in prayers after exhausting options that could not be solved by the secondary divinities.



      In the south-eastern part of Nigeria, God is known either as Chukwu or Chineke in the Igbo language, which loosely translates to Big God or God who creates. The Akan people of Ghana refer to Him as Onyame. This confirms their belief in the Supreme Being. The Mendes of Sierra Leone calls Him Ngewo, which means Creator of the universe as well as Father, while the Kikuya people of Kenya call Him Murungu, which means Creator of all things.



      God in the African context is the All-knowing, Ruler, Provider, and Protector of the realms, humanity, and the universe.

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