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The term indigenous religions refers to the religious traditions of non-European peoples indigenous to Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. Recently, for political reasons, both inside and outside the university, and because of the reality of globalization, some native populations of North America—that is, Mexico, the United States, and Canada—have begun identifying themselves and their religious traditions as indigenous as opposed to Indian, Aboriginal, Amerindian, Native American, or First Peoples. Although indigenous peoples throughout the world have little in common in regard to culture and language, many of these societies have had to contend with one form of western European colonialism or another. In most cases, European colonialism was anything but benevolent, and Christian missionaries—both Catholic and Protestant—sought out indigenous souls to save from ...

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