The Serer Religion (FAAT ROG)

Seereer religion or  “a ƭat Roog” (“the way of the Divine” or “path of God”) is the original religious beliefs of the Seereer people. The Seereer people being very diverse with different languages, each group refer to the Supreme Being in their own native tongue. The religious beliefs and practices of the Seereer group are however very similar and practically indistinguishable. Even the names of the Supreme Being irrespective of language are very closely related and similar in name and pronunciation. For instance the Saafi Deity Koox Seen (variations: Kooh or Kooh Seen, following its pronunciation) is very similar to the Ndut and Noon Supreme Deities. Koox Seen is also very similar to the Seex Deity Roog Seen (variations: Rooh or Rooh Seen, following its pronunciation). The names Kooh and Rooh are very similar and are worshiped in a similar way. For Seereers who adhere to the tenets of Seereer religion, it is not uncommon to find some who worship and/or invoke all of these Supreme Deities regardless of the language they speak. 

It is common to refer to African religious beliefs as Animism. In many cases, especially in scholarly works, the term “Animism” is used as a short hand to refer to African religious beliefs. Seereer religion is not “Animism” and the SRC does not use the term to refer to Seereer religion. Many of those who practice the faith, Seereer theologians and scholars of Seereer religion and culture regard it as an offensive or improper word to describe Seereer religion and African religious beliefs in general. In the Seereer context, the word has its roots during the colonial days, used by the colonialists to refer to the original religious beliefs of the Seereer people in a negative way. It is not uncommon to find Senegambians (irrespective of ethnic or religious belief) refer to Seereer religion as “Animism”. Even president Léopold Sédar Senghor (Leopool Sedaar Sengoor), a Seereer by birth, who was a staunch advocate for Seereer religion and culture in spite of his Catholic beliefs, used to refer to Seereer religion as Animism.

Reference: Serer Resource Center

O'Fok Serer