Latin America Christians: Are they practising ancient cultural beliefs?
The ancient Latin Cultural belief just like the current Christian belief is based on concepts that try to keep the society in a morally upright manner and free of wrangling. The ancient belief have some how found their way, though in a disguised manner, into the church and are being practiced by the Christians in the following ways:
First is the aspect of co-parenting. The compadre as it is referred in the Latin nations is an ancient cultural Latin belief in which a child is assigned a godparent who will be responsible for the social and moral upbringing of the child. In modern Christianity this aspect is still being practised especially in catholics. After a child is baptised under the Christian religion a close friend of the family is declared to be his godparent ans will share with the biological parents of the child in the moral and religious upbringing of the child.
The other key way in which Latin America Christians practise a disguised form of their cultural beliefs is in their belief in life after death. In the ancient Latin culture there is the belief in life after death in fact there are some ways in which the dead can be appeased by holding ceremonies in their honour by making them sacrifices. This is not different from the present day Latin America society. In Christianity, especially in catholics which is predominant in Latin America, there is belief in life after death in fact there are masses or prayers held in honor of the departed as they pray for God to hold their souls in eternal peace. It should be noted that two key aspects are brought out first, the belief in life after death and secondly the belief that the living can positively affect the wellbeing of the departed or so to say the dead.
Next, the believe in God or a supreme being. In the ancient Latin American beliefs they believe in the existence of a supreme being who is responsible for their existence and wellbeing (Wenner, 2001). They prayed to this supreme being for good fortune like bumper harvest, rain and children. On the other hand the Latin America Christianity like any other modern day religion believe in the existence of God through whom all good happen. They pray to God for good health, financial stability and for many other reasons. The key things that make the two similar are the acknowledgement of the existence of a supreme being, his duties and the ability to communicate to Him.
Another aspect that brings about similarity is the aspect of expulsion. In the Latin America cultural belief, persons who had committed some specified kind of wrong doings were sent from the society for it was believed that their existence in the society thereafter would bring bad luck to the society. On the other hand the Christian community has some set of rules that if broken by a Christian the church is then forced to excommunicate the said person from it’s congregation. The key thing practised by Christians in this aspect are thus the existence of certain laws whose going against would lead to the expulsion of the doer from the said society.
One last aspect is the belief in the existence of evil spirits. The ancient Latin America culture believed in the existence of certain spirits whose main work was to cause problems. The present day Christianity believe in the existence of Satan and demons who are his key workers. One key aspect that is practised by Latin America Christians in relation to evil spirits is the believe that wrong doers are more prone to the wrath of the spirits than the righteous.
Wenner, Sarah. Basic Beliefs of Christianity. 2001. 19th June 2008 ;http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/cultural/religion/christianity/beliefs.html;