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Conservation of Indigenous Belief and Culture
Maintaining the world's credodiversity is important in the same way it's important that biodiversity is preserved and interesting rare species saved from extinction. Indigenous beliefs are part of a rich eclectic variety in world culture, and it would be good if they were preserved rather than wiped out.
Often in travel guide books and cultural geography documentaries we hear "local traditional beliefs of the tribespeople have diminished with the arrival of missionaries" and "indigenous culture now largely displaced by christianity". The lines go alongside "[species] now extinct since Westerners introduced rats to the island" and "[N] unique species of flora and fauna in danger from widespread deforestation". Well it's time for this to stop!
You might think it would be possible to prevent missionaries from visiting unspoiled cultural tribes, but this would be a bit like trying to stop anyone with Western diseases visiting the places. A fairer and more reasonable method to save the credodiversity would be a campaign of philosophical vaccination against some of the more virulent types of mainstream religion. That way, local people would have cultural defences in place against pernicious invasion. To achieve a level of resistance to invasive religion, a good strategy would be to muster local support and to get indigenous stalwarts to speak up for traditional cultural beliefs.
By having staunch supporters of indigenous beliefs within the community able to counter the claims of invading preachers, people will see it's not so one-sided. The defenders should know their enemy's tactics and be ready to fight back. Then, people have a fairer chance to choose for themselves what to believe.
It's important that the diversity of indigenous beliefs be conserved and maintained. Besides avoiding the world becoming a monoculture of drab conformist worship, there is also the key feature of native belief that people are happier with their own culture than with something that's imposed on them! You can see numerous examples of culturally defeated societies much the poorer for having been converted to a mainstream religion.
It's up to each person what they choose to believe, but this has to be balanced with the fact that religious invaders, if unopposed, tend to use terrorist confidence tricks such as the heaven and hell scare. This makes it cease to be a free choice and more of emotional blackmail. Hence, local philosophical defenders should be there to help the people to fight off such attacks on their culture.
If you run a global charity keen on preserving world diversity and cultural distinctiveness, you may consider the recruitment of indigenous culture defenders as a positive step towards conservation of cultural identity. If this is you, let's know about your good works and add your website link on the page of Good Causes
This is more humane than providing the locals with large cooking pots in which to cook the missionaries.
There are a few references and resources, for example...
Plus... www.shamanism.org/fssinfo/indigenousAssistance.html which also encourages Magic, so that's good!
Also see search results for "John Frum" in Vanuatu http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Frum
The movie "Avatar" shows a cultural change towards a more positive way of consideration of indigenous cultures.
Even in situations were some of the more interesting belief systems are no longer believed-in, it's worth documenting them for historical interest and also in case their time should come again. For example Norse beliefs , and Arabian Paganism, which is connected from the main Pagan page.