The Caribbean region has a diversity of religions. As various nations settled in the Caribbean over the years they brought along with them their religious beliefs and practices. The Europeans brought Christianity and its many denominations such as roman catholic, Anglicans, Baptist and so on. Indian indentured workers brought Hinduism and Islam and the Africans brought voodoo and other spiritual practices.
Christianity is the most dominant of all religions in the Caribbean covering over 80% of every countries’ population with the exception of Guyana and rinidad & Tobago. These exceptions are multi-religious nations, with over a 20% population of Hindus and Muslims.
All societies have developed values and norms which are generated from religious beliefs. Marriage, family, education, government of the people, science, art, music, literature, work ethics, human rights, sexuality, food, clothes and so much more are all organized on the basis of moral laws and principles of religions.
Caribbean societies view an ideal family and marriage as a husband and wife consecrated in a church in the presence of a priest/pastor with two rings as a symbol of their everlasting love. After this covenant they are now permitted to have sex (which is considered to be it only place) and procreate to form a household of daddy being the head, mommy and children. Where did all these beliefs came from?
Matthew 19:4-6, he answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said; therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
Virtues such as truth, honesty, non-violence, service, love, discipline etc are instigated by religions thus followers adapt to them and become disciplined citizens of society. The non-tolerance attitude of: homosexuality, adultery, abortion, pre-marital sex, murder, rape and other criminal offences and the fostering of: devotions and prayers in schools, Christ centred education, celebration of Christmas and Easter are al stemmed from Christian belies held highly by the Caribbean society.
In multi-religious regions like Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana as mentioned before where they have a 32.2% and 35% total population of Hindus and Muslims respectively . Christianity is still the dominant system of values however Hindus’ and Muslims’ values are given much recognition also.
Courtney from Study Moose
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