Infomaniac's World

 

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Religion

With the early explorers came Christianity. Apart from the indigenous tribes, the first settlers were primarily French and Spanish Catholics.

Protestant English, Scottish, Welsh and French Huguenots settled mainly in the north of the state, while the predominantly Catholic Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Irish were attracted to the city of New Orleans along with many Germans.

The Cajun and Creole cultures both have Catholic origins as with black African descendants, whose forefathers were indoctrinated with the Catholic faith.

The Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) added a further 10,000 refugees to the population throughout the following years. Although Christian, they brought with them a belief in Voodoo, a close relative of the African Vodun. Over the decades, these practices melded into the voodoo of today, coexisting with Catholicism.

The earliest Christian missionaries were the 16th century Jesuits, Capuchins, and Ursuline nuns.

The southern part of the state is steeped in Roman Catholicism, as opposed to the north where Christianity leans towards the Protestant faith, with the rhetoric of animated preachers as opposed to the more penitent services of Catholicism.

The Louisiana Purchase removed the Roman Catholic monopoly and allowed other religious congregations to openly practice their faith. The first half of the 19th century witnessed the opening of many new churches including Episcopal, Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist churches.

At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, the black Baptist and Methodist congregations broke away from the traditional Christian Church to form their own denominations. This was mainly due to the segregation laws that stipulated separate services for blacks and whites.

Less than ten years ago the Roman Catholic Church had double the number of parishioners as the Southern Baptists. The United Methodist Church was in third place with the Assemblies of God and the Episcopal Church close behind. There are also significant numbers of Muslim and Jewish members and followers.

 

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St John the Baptist Chjurch
St Louis Cathedral, early morning, New Orleans
church

 

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