candomble religion history

Beliefs and Practices of the Candomblé Religion

Candomblé is an African religion that has been developed in South America, particularly in Brazil. The enslaved Africans that arrived in the New World brought with them their beliefs. The religion is based on oral tradition. It includes various rituals such as personal worship, animal sacrifice, dance, and ceremonies. Candomblé includes some elements of indigenous South American beliefs along with Catholicism. Although Candomblé used to be a hidden religion, it has finally become public and has at least 2 million adherents across the continent in Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Argentina.


Followers of Candomblé believe in a single powerful god known as Olodumare. The ultimate god is served by various deities that visit Earth. The deities communicate with people through the messenger god known as Exu. As there were similarities between Candomblé and Catholicism, each deity was hidden as a saint. For example, the god of smallpox called Omulu is quite similar to Saint Lazarus. Thus, the adherents were able to continue worshipping their deities without any trouble.

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