Can native americans or other indigenous groups be Christian and still keep their tradition?

- Advertisement -

Can anyone tell me whether aboriginals or native americans etc can be christian and also still keep their traditions?
I would assume most christians would say no-is that correct?because their traditions involve shamanism(communicating with spirits) and exorcism of spirits,being “in tune”(sorry for the poor terminology) with animals like wolves etc and that would classed as spiritual contact and and paganism etc is that correct?
It would be a shame though for all these traditions to have to be gone though
As christians do you view their old “spiritual” traditions can be kept and blended with christianity or do you view it as being of satan/other in the same way as psychics and can you explain your opinions please?
All answers appreciated

- Advertisement -
Notify of
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Of course not dear. Destroying traditions and ancient beliefs is the main job of missionaries…


Not totally.
In our church I have read articals of the changes they had to make, in Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, China, mongolia, Russia, Japan…N ot all of them make the change sucessfully.

Pastor G

What about groups which have a tradition that all babies born breached must be killed?
What about groups which have a tradition that if twins are born, they must be killed?
What about groups which have a tradition that one virigin girl must be sacrificed annually?


No servant can serve two masters at one time therefore, for any indigenous group who would become a Christian and keep their tradition would be impossible which would become a conflict of faith.


Why not? For all we know the God you worshipped previously as “the Creator” could have been the one and the same, just unknown to you at the time…


well christians view it as evil to comunicate with dead spirits and to talk to demons and stuff like that so no they could not be christian and still do that stuff it would be a total walking contridiction and they would be living a lie


That is between the individual and the Holy Spirit. A true born again conversion that was prompted by the Holy Spirit would cause the individual to seek no other spiritual fulfillment.
This happened in Ephesus, here is how they responded.
Acts 19:18-20
And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

~*ajidamoon*~ back from the dead

As a Native American, I would have to say no, as the bible is one big contradiction to traditional ways. I would say a Native’s Traditional ways are closer to being an agnostic, as most bands and nations do believe in a “creator” of sorts, but never do they resemble the christian god.


The traditions are more than just religion, and even so the Christian religion has become a big part of many Native Americans lives and an important part of their culture.
Edit: I’m seeing a lot of misinformation about Native American tradition, both in the O.P. and in the responses so let me try and help out.
Around here Native Churches have the lesson taught in both English and the native language for which ever Tribe’s Church you’re attending.
Furthermore in the Muscogee Nation it is part of the tradition to open ceremonies with an invocation, which is usually a traditional (Christian, but in the native language) hymn and / or a prayer.

The Pope

I’m going to say yes, frankly because it is up to the individual what beliefs to keep and what to cast away.

Praire Crone

The simple answer is no… some try of course but it is only a shadow of what their ancestors believed. Too much knowledge and such was lost when their cultures were destroyed by missionaries. Sad really the path of destruction that christianity leaves in cultures. The people in those cultures pay such a high price for christian occupation of their cultures.


The fact is, no one can wholeheartedly serve two masters (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13).
No these traditions cannot be accepted in Christianity because Christians are told in the first and second commandments that there is only one God. We must only be in contact with him, not other spirits.
(1) “You shall have no other gods before me.” This command is against worshipping any god other than the one true God. All other gods are false gods.
(2) “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” This command is against making a idol, a visible representation of God. There is no image we can create that can accurately portray God. To make an idol represent God is to worship a false god.


De 6:4 ¶ Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. {in: or, for}
Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Ac 10:34 ¶ Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

elaine 30705

No they still know God,,they have always referred to him
as the Great Spirit.


They have the challenge of distinguishing religion from culture. One can be faithful to his or her culture while remaining true to his or her faith. Pope Benedict XVI talks about this extensively in many of his writings, especially back in his days as Cardinal Ratzinger.


If it is not against your tradition to “love your fellow man as yourself” or to ‘love thine enemy’….. bearing in mind that we ‘create’ our enemies……. forgive those who bear false witness….. judge not …
True Christianity is a religion of the heart…. if you can follow a path of forgiveness and Love,
If your tradition can accommodate these things and you see the interconnectedness of all things… then I think you can be a Christian also…
Of course if you are talking about a church who seeks to control its followers through dogma, rules, fear and guilt trips .. well thats a whole different kettle of fish… forgive the pun…


Not too much dealing w/spirits or wolves except in extreme cases. More like a lot of praying for a patient at ceremonies. Change is inevitable. Many of my Navajo relatives do both. May as well cover all the bases they say. lol They take it in stride, don’t dwell on it. My parents know the traditions but chose the Baptist path, it helped them stop drinking. We’re all just trying to get to heaven. Good luck..

Catherine Deville

The true answer to your question is, “it depends.” It depends entirely upon several factors, including what denomination of Christianity the adherent practices, how the individual adherent interprets that Christian tradition, and what their Native tradition entails.
People have a bad habit of lumping all Christians together and assuming that their beliefs are the same, or largely similar. Not only is this not true (The Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance notes that “One source estimates that there are 34,000 separate Christian groups in the world.” OCRT groups those into:
* Four to seven meta-groups, (Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Protestantism……)
* Three wings, (conservative, mainline and liberal)
* Fifteen Religious families, (Adventist, Baptist, Lutheran, Reform….)
* Dozens of denominations, (from the Amish to The Way), and
* Many systems of belief (Arminianism, British Israelism, Calvinism…)
All of these denominational groups have differences in belief, some of which have caused wars, revolutions, persecutions and witch hunts. The most fundamentalist of these groups often consider their version of Christianity to be the only “true” Christianity.
As for Native American traditions, they vary a great deal from tribe-to-tribe, and there’s a very large gap between the tribes “recognized” by the federal government, and those recognized by ethnographers. Some beliefs and practices also vary widely, especially when you consider that “Native America” covers everything from Alaskan Inuits to the South American tribes.
According to the OCRT, “most” Native Americans “follow a personal faith that combines traditional and Christian elements.” and “Pan Indianism is a recent and growing movement which encourages a return to traditional beliefs, and seeks to create a common Native religion.” There is a resurgence in returning to Native American traditions, just as there is a large NeoPagan movement today. Both of these religious movements are currently growing quickly enough that they lead the way in emerging religious movements.
So, the answer to your question, as with most questions about what people can do or believe in religion, is, it depends on the individual. Obviously many Native Americans find ways to blend their tradition with their Christian faith. Others choose to return to the path of their people. And with this movement growing, I’m hopeful that we won’t be losing the cultural richness of Native American traditions anytime soon. Now that it’s no longer illegal to practice their tradition, I’m confident that enough individuals will embrace their heritage to keep it alive.
And as to other aboriginal faiths… well, that’s a whole ‘nother discussion, but much of the same general concept pertains.

Donna M

Well, I guess that I can speak from experience. I am a native american, with Itilian, and I’m Catholic. That being said I would say, on my part that I use both methods. I tune into my native side with the land, and animals. I am also a sensitive. And yet I still believe in God and worship him. You have to remember that even Christians believes in something. Be it the Holy Spirit or Angels. The reason why most don’t mix both spirits and God is because they are afraid of maybe offending God. Not real sure about that. I can only tell you my side. Hope I helped out.
Donna M.


No, and you find the reason in Deuteronomy 20: 1-6, (excuse me for no writing the complete text, my english is poor and I don’t want to make a mistake)
God is explicit and clear:
In resume God forbids the worship of other gods, and commands us not to bow to them or honor them because he is jelous and strong with his sons. If the person (example you ask) is a true Christian this question has no sense, the person will know exactly what to do and think. There is only one way to God and is: accept Jesus Christ as our Savior because he died on the cross for the redemption of our sins. No more
Hope this help you.

kanas gowa wodi

Well, I can only speak for myself. I am a devout christian with my whole faith in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the only way to the Father (salvation). However, being southeastern Indian and having been raised in both christian and native ways I often feel the conflict. My father is a sundancer and puts his whole trust in Christ.
To be sure there is a lot in traditional faith that is not christian. However even we christians can’t come to an agreement on orthodoxy nor is everything in christianity is devoidof paganism (rabbits n eggs, christmas trees, december 25, wreathes or militarism and nationalism).
In my experience native ways walk much closer to 1st century christianity than most churches do today. I see no ill in exressing one’s culture in worship of Yahweh as long as He is the one who is worshipped wholeheartedly AND nothing expressly forbidden in the Bible is practiced. I would like to ask those who say no, what culture is devoid of paganism, must all mankind become white-anglo-saxon european “christians”? Is Yahweh really that small? No. So pray to Jesus with the chanupa, sing praises to him in the sweat lodge, honor His nature, test all spirits to see if they’re from God (for they will only praise Him and not creation) but serve and worship only Jesus Christ. Native things are just the vehicle not the destination and are only sacred to that effect.


What can l do ?

Hi ,im aspiring to be a folklorist or something along those lines .l have completed the sagas of lycanthropy ,am reading deep into crytozoology...

Why did Laozi establish Taoism?

Confucianism was corrupt. The Period of the Warring States was ending. ...

How do i make a voodoo doll? easy 100 points for the first five good answers. Not kidding?

I want to make a voodoo doll but i have not got any spanish moss or things like that i need it to be...

what is the difference between magick and magic? (im referring to witchcraft)?

i have been reading up on witchcraft latley, because i am trying to become a witch and i thought the best way to start...

My solar plexus has shifted.I am in Bangalore. Is there any one who can help me in this matter?

It all started with loose motions -not amenable to drugs. Then I did the yogasanas suggested by Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari.The loose motions stopped on...

Is Buddha a God? Did Buddha possess supernatural powers?

My understanding is that Buddha is not a god. He was a normal human being like you and me. He attained enlightenment, which to...
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x