Indigenous Religions: Threats to the Existence

Indigenous religions are based on the strong connection between people and the nature which is reflected in people’s treating animals and their attitude to the environment with references to the natural phenomena as the ways to communicate with spirits. All the natural surroundings are full of spirits or gods, and indigenous people organize their life according to the natural laws.

The harmony of people’s relations with the nature depends on their connection with the definite occupied lands because indigenous people pay much attention to their roots, and the indigenous religions are based on the notion of a sacred place.

The aspects of the modern world’s development provide a lot of threats for preserving indigenous religions because two main tendencies of the social progress are in opposition to the indigenous religions’ concepts. The trends which can threaten the existence of indigenous religions are urbanism as the component of civilization and globalization.

The problem of urbanism

It is significant for indigenous people to be in a constant contact with the nature because their life cycle depends on the natural cycle. Moreover, religious visions are closely associated with the natural objects. Thus, indigenous people are inclined to worship animals and the natural powers as their gods, and many natural places are discussed as sacred ones where shamans have the opportunity to communicate with spirits.

However, the intimate connection of the indigenous people with the nature can be destroyed because of the fact that many people today have to live in cities. That is why, they have no the necessary connection with the nature, and a lot of territories where indigenous people live are under the threat to be ‘invaded’ in order to expand the ideas of civilization there (Witt and Wiles, “Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion”, 50).

The problem of globalization

Globalization is the next threat for the indigenous religions’ survival because these religions depend on the presence of certain people at certain territories, and these people have their specific language and specific rules of living. According to the ideas of globalization, people are inclined to integrate and combine their peculiarities in order to avoid misunderstandings because of differences. This ideology is not appropriate for the further development of indigenous religions which are based on their specific features.

Moreover, integrating new styles of living and using modern technologies as the results of civilization, indigenous people reduce the significance of their identity which is necessary for following their religions.

Nevertheless, these threatening aspects do not influence the fact that some indigenous religions remain popular not only with their native cultures but also among the representatives of the other cultures, and these religions also affect the development of the ecological movement (Rose, “The Australian Journal of Anthropology”, 298).

To conclude, it is necessary to state that many indigenous religions can be influenced by such factors as the development of civilization with referring to its characteristics which are urbanism and modernization. The globalization processes are also important because indigenous people lose not only their connection with the nature but they also lose their language and territories.

The key factors for preserving the indigenous religions are the reference to the people’s roots and the modern interpretation of their beliefs in natural powers from the ecological point of view. That is why, definite indigenous religions are discussed as significant in the context of the people’s historical, cultural, and religious development.

Works Cited

Rose, Deborah. “An Indigenous Philosophical Ecology: Situating the Human.” The Australian Journal of Anthropology 16.3 (2005): 294-305. Print.

Witt, Joseph and David Wiles. “Nature in Asian Indigenous Traditions: A Survey Article.” Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion 10.1 (2006): 40-68. Print.

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