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Now a republic on the northern coast of the South American continent, Suriname was until 1795 exclusive property of the Suriname Society and then a Dutch colony. Colonization, immigration, and missionary activities determined the unique religious makeup of the country. Prior to independence in 1975, a great deal of Suriname's culture and religious practices migrated to the Netherlands. This circumstance further contributes to the relevance of Suriname as an example of the globalization of religion.

The first colonization was by the British after 1650. In the Anglo-Dutch wars later in that century, the Dutch conquered this area around the Suriname River—a location settled in 1674. Since then, Suriname has been private property. The Indian population with its indigenous religion was soon outnumbered by African slaves and ...

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