Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_832


Santería, more formally known as Lukumí or La Regla Lukumí, originated in Africa and was brought to Cuba by slaves from western Africa, many of whom were from Yoruba-speaking areas that are now part of Nigeria and Benin. The religion was brought to the United States during the 1940s by immigrants from Cuba. It has been estimated that approximately 10 million individuals in the Americas are adherents to the Afro-Cuban religion Santería; somewhere between half a million and 5 million of them are located in the United States. It is believed that approximately 50,000 adherents reside in South Florida. In addition, there are also large clusters of practitioners (santeros, a status that is explained in greater detail below) in New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Although many believers may have been raised in the Santería tradition, followers of other faiths are increasingly identifying as believers of Santería.

In many respects, Santería is unlike Western religions. While...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Medicine, Department of BioethicsCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA