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Religion as a Social Force The Amerindians of the region had their own religious practices and ceremonies before the intervention of any Europeans For the most part they were polytheistic-worshiping many gods Much of their rites involved sacrifices often times humans as well as dancing singing and smoking All of that was interrupted with the arrival of the Europeans who insisted that the Amerindians were heathens thus making them inferior Then and there attempts were made to Christianise them as a please Queen Isabella The trick behind that through was force these people to work and so not many of the Spaniards cared much about their religious lives Several missionaries came to the West Indies to work among the Amerindians Most of the missionaries came by Roman Catholic orders and were Domonicans Among the missionaries were Montesions and Las Casa both tried to convert the Amerindias to Christianity In 1685 or there about the Roman Catholic Church sanctioned Slavery as it claimed that the negros were foreign subjects and thus could be enslaved They even stated the slavery was helpful to the slaves as they became Christians The Spanish even set up slave code called the Las Partidas stating that slaves should be baptized allow to go church get religious instructions and marry among other things However the practice often differs from the law It would appear to me that religious practices were to teach the slaves the equality of all men The colonist in Spanish Brithish and French territories saw it too and taught that it was dangerous to teach slaves those Christian principles Catholicism was imposed on the Amerindians with little or no regards for the bloody committed against them This produced a faith which hardly mre than skin-deep for the vast majority of enslaved converts Another group of Christians in the West Indies were the Anglicans They too were upholders of the slave system in its peak and so did
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