How Did Native Americans Influence Religion

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Shortly after the first steps by the English on the new found land, soon to be the thirteen colonies of the Americas, the English would meet the native people that had already occupied the land for hundreds of years before they arrived. These people were the Native Americans, an ethnic group that was indigenous to the land, that would soon forever shape religion in the United States of America. The direct encounters that the Colonists had with the Native Americans would shape the development of religion as they knew it and for the many years to come. In the beginning the colonists wanted to influence the Native Americans with their Christianity beliefs, because they believed it was the one and only true religion. However, some of the colonists …show more content…
In 1737, a man by the name of William Livingston decided to live with the Native Americans at a young age to study the Iroquois language and beliefs, also he wanted to share his religious beliefs amongst them. During his time with them he learned many things and came to respect the Iroquois beliefs and he felt that influencing them of his belief was wrong. During his time living with the Iroquois, Livingston observed that the French were imposing their Catholic beliefs upon the Iroquois and he became outraged. Because Livingston noticed this, he became in a way an activist for religious tolerance in the colonies but was seen as, what was known to be then, an Atheist. Similarly in 1744, Conrad Weiser was an official interpreter that would translate the Iroquois Confederacy language to the colonists for negotiations. Weiser showed enough patience and respect to the Native Americans to be able to learn their languages. He was in a way, a role model for the people in the colony that saw the way he respected and treated the Native American’s beliefs. Also, the colony’s willingness to negotiate with them showed that they could set their differences aside and tolerate each others religions to help each …show more content…
The Native Americans influenced religion in America by figuratively planting a seed for religious tolerance and paving the way for respecting others religious beliefs. The Native Americans never imposed on the Christian beliefs of the Colonists. Europeans naturally respected their differences and tolerated their religious beliefs because that is the way that the Natives have treated the Colonists. The Colonists also learned to be tolerant by people like Livingston and Weiser that chose to venture out and learn more about the religious beliefs of those that occupied the land before them. There are parts in the world that do not accept Religious differences, but because of the Native Americans influence, we can learn to live together with people that have opposing

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