Sunday 7 January 2024

Should Africans only worship the “gods of their ancestors”?

If so, which ancestors? From what geographic region and from what time period? Why is it logical to think that beliefs must be determined by the previous opinions of dead humans who share our DNA?

Everyone already uses foreign things to a certain extent already. January celebrates Janus, June celebrates Juno, August celebrates the emperor Augustus, and July the former Roman emperor Julius Caesar.

If every human being only ever followed a religion based on what ancestors followed which ancestor should we pick?

600 years ago I may have had 2^(30+1)-2 ancestors, 2,147,483,646 ancestors. Which belief system of those 2 billion ancestors should I follow?

5,000 years ago, I had many more ancestors. Which of those 5 billion plus ancestors should I select to pick my religion from?

Should I assume rain comes from a deity when I know it is the water cycle? Should I assume the Sun comes from a deity when I know it comes from a star at the centre of our solar system?

Some people think every African should only worship same deities as their ancestors, without any indication of what decade and from what region we should pick any ancestor from complex family trees.

Are people free to pick a religion using whatever criteria they want? I think so. What do you think?


Apart from Saudi Arabia, every OTHER current Muslim-majority country in the world is guilty of having adopted a foreign religion. These include Indonesia (having 13% of the world’s Muslims), Pakistan (11%), India (11%), and Bangladesh (9%).

Bahrain, Iran (formerly the Median empire and later the Persian empire), Iraq (formerly the Babylonian empire), Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Syria, Turkeys UAE, Yemen all adopted FOREIGN religions, which came out of Saudi Arabia. Indisputably, Islam partly built on the foundation of Judaism.

67% of Muslims in the world (1.1 billion Muslims) live in Asia (54 million in Central Asia, and 600 million in South Asia). Only 27% of the world’s Muslims (550 million out of 1.976 billion Muslims) live in Africa. Only 42% of Africans are Muslims. Six of the top 20 richest countries in the world (Singapore, Qatar, UAE, Brunei, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia) have significant Muslim populations.


The population of Israel is 9.4 million. Christianity indisputably came from the Jews. Only 2% of Israelis (190,000 people) identify as Christians. The global population of Christians is 2.2 billion. 26% of Christians live in Europe (amounting to 558 million people), 24% of Christians live in Latin America and the Caribbean (amounting to 531 million people), 13% of Christians live in Asia (amounting to 287 million people), and 12% of Christians live in North America (amounting to 267 million Christians). Africa and the Middle East have 24% of the world’s Christians (equivalent to 529 million Christians). The history of Christianity in Libya, Egypt and Ethiopia is a old as any other region of the world stretching back 1,600-2,000 years since one of the Gospels is believed to have been written by an African, St Mark. Twelve of the top 20 richest countries (in terms of GDP per capita) have significant Christian populations. Nine of these twelve Christian-majority countries never held a colony in Africa. Who are they? Luxembourg, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland, Austria, Sweden and Australia. 74% of Luxembourg identify as Christians.


Buddhism originated in Nepal, not China. The historical Buddha, Siddharta Gautama, was born in what is now Nepal but attained enlightenment in India. He renounced his royal life to become a wandering ascetic and achieved enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, India. His dhamma (teachings) spread from India to China. 12% of people Asia-Pacific are Buddhists. The population of Buddhists on other continents is less than 1%. There are 481 million Buddhists in Asia-Pacific, and 7 million in the rest of the world. Seven countries have Buddhist majorities: Cambodia (97% Buddhist), Thailand (93% Buddhist), Myanmar (80%), Bhutan, Sri Lanka (69%), Laos and Mongolia. 50% of the world’s Buddhists live in China (244 million), 13% live in Thailand (64 million Buddhists), 9% live in Japan (46 million), 8% live in Myanmar (38 million) and 3% in Sri Lanka (14 million). The top 5 countries with the largest populations of Buddhists represent 83% of the world’s Buddhist population. The countries with the top 10 most numbers of Buddhists don’t include Nepal and account for 95% of the world’s Buddhists. Only 2% of India (9 million people) identify as Buddhists. None of the top 20 richest countries are Buddhist majority countries.

There is no single indisputable argument that a human being must adopt the exact same beliefs as an ancestor.

The evidence seems to suggest that countries that don’t follow the beliefs of their ancestors tend to be richer. In Japan for instance where most “religious Japanese” people follow Shintoism or Buddhism, most Japanese people are NOT religious, which means that they mainly don’t follow the beliefs of their ancestors - Shintoism.

Large cross-cultural surveys frequently present Japan as a country of non-believers, where only 10-15% of the population self-identify as religious and the vast majority rank religion as being of little importance to their lives.

What do you think?

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