The African continent is home to more than 6,000 different ethnic and cultural groups, each with its own religious customs. Yet, these many traditions have common foundations, including an almost universal belief in a Supreme Being, a close interconnection between the sacred and the nonsacred, and a rich oral tradition that passes religious and ethical teachings down through the generations. For centuries, the indigenous religions of Africa were in danger of extinction as other beliefs, primarily Christianity and Islam, threatened to oppress the various sects. Today, a vibrant resurgence of African traditional religion can be encountered everywhere in Africa, and leaders of African religion can openly organize and render spiritual and healing services without hindrances. In a clear and comprehensive manner, ""African Traditional Religion, Third Edition"" explores the many manifestations of African belief and their expressions, in the past and in the present, as well as the hopes for the future. Coverage includes: the various sects of African religion; effects of the African continent; rituals and beliefs; the arrival of colonists and missionaries; and the spread of African religion to other countries.