IMMIGRANT AND SLAVE PRAYER
World Religions in America
Immigrants who voluntarily came to America brought many diverse prayers and religious practices with them, not all of them Orthodox Christian. But the first 17th-century settlers, who were predominantly Puritan and Protestant, helped shape what has been called the American national identity of radical individualism combined with strong social moral codes. America’s mainstream religious expressions often conflicted with, and caused conflict within, newly arrived groups. The program reminds viewers that not all prayers are benign; some promoted slavery. For unwilling African American slaves, their prayers and other cultural practices did not elicit conflict so much as an intense expression of suffering.