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May 14 - In Canada, aboriginal pastors mix Christianity with Native spirituality
Article: Unbiblical Christianity
Inside a cramped, run-down loft in one of this city's
poorest neighborhoods, Cheryl Bear Barnetson
sits at a communal drum, leading a group of people in song. The sharp beating of
the drum grows louder and faster. She and the other aboriginal singers
surrounding it begin to chant. "Jeeee-sus, Jeeee-sus, Jeeee-sus
" Although it doesn't look like a typical house of worship, this place is a
church. Bare brick walls surround small coffee tables and chairs. A large wooden
cross is all that distinguishes the space from a 1920s speakeasy.
Barnetson is one of the pastors who minister here every
Sunday night. Using traditional
aboriginal practices, they share the gospel with the people who walk through the
doors of Street Church. They all attend for their own reasons - some for
religion, others for a free meal.
To the right of the stage, an aboriginal man
plays a hand drum along with the congregation. After the song is finished, she
says, "We're all here for Jesus tonight." The man abruptly stands, takes his
drum and walks loudly down the creaking stairs, shouting profanities.
His reaction does not surprise Barnetson - she knows that
churches once played a central role in suppressing and attacking aboriginal
culture in Canada - nor is she concerned.
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