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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Religion in the lives of Caribbean people


COMMENTARY

Thursday, April 27, 2006

by Oliver Mills

Can the people of the Caribbean be regarded as religious? But what is religion though?

It has to do with a belief in God, or a divine presence who has created us, and to whom we can turn for guidance and direction when we are faced with the challenges of life. Religion is also associated with worship of the Divine, the practicing of rituals, such as the singing of hymns, prayers, the clapping of hands, and in some religious bodies, with dancing, and making a joyful noise.

In the Caribbean, religion plays a big part in marriage ceremonies, christening of the young, burials, and in most public occasions and celebrations. Politicians quote scripture on the campaign trail, and attend church regularly during the period leading up to elections. When we face difficulties we pray, or if we would like a certain situation to work out well for us, we also pray. If we are traveling whether by vehicle or aircraft, we pray for a safe journey and a safe return.

We become members of religious groups as a means of being a part of a body of believers, and religion gives us hope in the afterlife.

Religion therefore helps to ease our pain, gives us a reason for living, provides us with comfort and solace during periods which test us, and gives us hope of a future existence.

In a general sense, then, because of what is stated above, Caribbean people can be regarded as religious people. But is this all to being religious? Should it not involve being much more than this? Of course it does.

Being religious, or following a religious doctrine, means that we believe in, and practice, certain principles in our daily relationships with each other. These have to do with how we treat each other, the attitudes we have towards each other, the way we think about each other, whether in negative or positive terms, and how we value each other.


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Link Posted by jebratt :: Thursday, April 27, 2006 :: 0 comments

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