Although most western texts mention African slaves being taught Christianity, few make mention of the religion they brought with them, and when it is mentioned African religions are often labeled as primitive and superstitious. Most African religions were more complex than whites realized at the time and actually had many similarities with Western religions including one God and a host of saints known as orishas. In addition to the indigenous religions brought from Africa, it is also clear that just as Christianity spread from Israel as far north as Spain, Islam spread to the east and west and finally south into sub-Saharan Africa and the slaves represented a blend of religious backgrounds. Yoruba was the primary religion practiced in the area where the majority of slaves were captured by African and Arab tribes and then sold to European traders. The area now known as Nigeria, Benin and Togo is populated by the Bantu people where the Yoruba religion is still practiced today although it is beginning to fade as Christianity and Islam overtake it. Ironically, Yoruba is experiencing a rebirth in the United States and other places around the world. Orisha worship was spread to the new world through the slave trade. In order to preserve their religious traditions against Catholic subjugation, the African slaves substituted Christian saints for the gods or Orishas. This hybrid religion took deep hold in African communities in Brazil and Cuba. Following the Cuban revolution of 1959, the religion spread to Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the United States, especially in New York City and Florida. Curiously, the Yoruba religion is beginning to grow in the United States just as it is being replaced by Christianity and Islam in Africa. Numerous texts by pre-twentieth century white authors belittled African religion calling it nothing more than childish and primitive despite the long and complex history of African religious practices. Hollywood was particularly potent in distorting and debasing African religion on film making it seem superstitious, savage and ignorant. However, the religion that was practiced by the slaves who were brought to the United States is still practiced and is just as complex and rich as Christianity. Santeria or Regla de Ocha as it is also known is an indigenous form of Yoruba that has absorbed aspects or Roman Catholicism while maintaining Yoruba traditions. This blending or melding of religious ideas and ceremonies is called syncretization. There are nearly 3 million adherents of the religion in Cuba where it was once outlawed by the Communist government. In Brazil, this syncretized religion is known as Candomble. Although Candomble and Santeria share roots in traditional Yoruba religion, Candomble has adopted some rituals and ideas from the indigenous Indians of South America while also blending in strains of Catholicism. Voudon or Voodoo as it is commonly known also originated from the same area and the name Voudon can actually be traced to an African word meaning “spirit.” Hollywood moviemakers during the mid 1900’s gave Americans, including African Americans, a distorted image of Voodoo, concentrating on voodoo dolls and zombies, but there is more to Voudon than Hollywood ever knew. It is another syncretized religion that the French outlawed in Haiti where it still flourishes. Voodoo is probably the best known example of African religion although it is generally misunderstood. It is an Afro-Caribbean fusion of different religious beliefs and practices taken from the practices of the Fon, the Nago, the Ibos, Dahomeans, Congos, Senegalese, Haussars, Caplaous, Mondungues, Mandinge, Angolese, Libyans, Ethiopians, and the Malgaches. The name is traceable to an African word for "spirit". It can also be directly traced to the West African Yoruba people with its roots may go back 6,000 years in Africa in today's Togo, Benin and Nigeria. What the Europeans didn't understand, they were quick to label as superstition, but studies since those colonial have revealed that African religions were just as sophisticated if not more so than the European models to which they were compared. While there is no question that superstition was part of the African psyche of colonial times, it was also a clear element for all races during that particular time in world history and no one race had the superstition market cornered. Slaves were baptized into the Roman Catholic Church upon their arrival in Haiti and other West Indian islands, but with little Christian authority to maintain the faith, the slaves followed their original native faith, which they practiced in secret. Although ancient religion such as these may seem remote, they are still being practiced by groups of African American, especially in large cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, which are capable of supporting a variety of religious beliefs and congregations. Vodoun was actively suppressed during colonial times. Today over 60 million people practice Vodoun worldwide.