Diverse heritage weaves into spirituality

By October 29, 2008

Jamaica (MNN) —
Jamaican culture, and that of many Caribbean islands, bears strong resemblance
to the African culture it draws its origins from. The rich heritage woven into many
aspects of Jamaican society also carries spiritual elements that weaken
Christianity. ABWE missionaries are training national Jamaican pastors and
helping them plant Baptist churches, as well as strengthening evangelical
believers who are struggling for spiritual survival.

Brought to Jamaica by
Spanish colonizers, African slaves were among the first to inhabit the island.
Slavery was sustained by British colonial rule and continued into the mid-19th
century, until slave revolts finally abolished the practice.

Although English is
the official language of Jamaica, most speak a dialect combining elements of
Creole English, African and Rastafarian. The vibrant culture this history
created also influences Jamaica's Christian denominations. Elements of Spiritism–a belief that twists the definition and intention of the Holy Spirit and
teachings of Jesus–are woven throughout Christian beliefs on the island,
thereby weakening the clarity and strength of the Gospel. ABWE desires to
correct these illusions and train pastors in Biblical truth, so that they may
strengthen and build congregations on the rock of Christ.

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