The history of Hinduism in Africa is by most accounts very short when comparing it to the histories of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the same continent; however, the presence of its practitioners in Africa dates back to pre-colonial times. Currently Mauritius is the only African country where Hinduism is the dominant religion with 52% of the population are followers.

Hence, Hinduism was only to firmly take root in Africa through the spread of the British Empire, which colonized huge swaths of land throughout Asia and Africa, including almost the entirety of the Indian subcontinent and most of the southern half of the African continent, with added portions of land in north Africa (such as the modern states of Egypt and Sudan). Many Indians left their homeland to seek their fortunes as soldiers, civil servicemen, and indentured servants throughout the British Empire, settling mainly in the British colonies of Southern and Eastern Africa. Their descendants eventually gained middle-class status in these countries, a position which has changed little in post-colonial Africa.

Hinduism is not usually propagated to the same lengths or through the same means as Christianity and Islam. It has mostly been confined to practise by the Indo-African communities of these countries. However, in post-colonial sub-Saharan Africa, a small-scale movement for Hinduism and its propagation outside the Indo-African community has occurred, spearheaded by such individuals such as Swami Ghanananda, the first Hindu swami of Ghana. Today, Lagos, Nigeria, which did not receive an original influx of Indian migrants as did countries such as South Africa and Uganda, is home to over 25,000 Hindus, mostly local converts and more recent, post-independence Indian immigrants. This was primarily the work of ISKCON missionaries. While Hinduism has been cited as possessing many parallels to African spirituality, it has received stiff opposition from the entrenched Christian elites and Muslim minorities of these countries. The Swaminarayan faith has a sizable following in Africa. Several temples belonging to the faith have been built in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.[1]

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External links

pt:Hinduísmo na África
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