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Religious Beliefs and Spirituality in Togo

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The religion of Togo has remained faithful to the country’s pagan history. This is the reason why 51% of the country’s population has indigenous belief or ancestor worship called voodoo, while the Christian and Muslim populations consist of 20% and 19%, respectively. Voodoo is traceable to African word which means spirit and consists of many sects including yeve, which believes in Hibisou as its god and spirit of storms, and Dan, a serpent spirit. A part of the belief of the voodoo people is that evils or demons exist even if they are invisible. Voodoo rituals are conducted to make contact with a spirit to gain favor or obtain help usually in the form of abundant food or improved health and high standard of living. The ritual is often conducted by a voodoo priest (hungan for male and mambo for female) inside a voodoo temple called humfor.

Christianity started in Togo in 1830 upon the establishment of a German Catholic Mission station as a result of the religion’s anti-slavery movement. It was in 1970 when Christian churches and missions enjoyed more freedom to operate in the country. The Roman Catholic, which is the biggest denomination, has now an archdiocese of Liome and six dioceses under it such as the diocese of Aneho, Atakpame, Dapaong, Kara, Kpalime and Sokode.

Islam came to the country about the same time that it entered most of West Africa. Introduced by the Hausa and Fulani nomads in their travel throughout West Africa with their Muslim beliefs brought to many different places, Islam adherents now represent a sizeable percentage of the country’s population.

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