What is the Native American Church and Why do some people eat Peyote from a cactus?

The Native American Church is a religion that combines some Christian beliefs with the Native American peyote religion that grew up in the nineteenth century.

Peyote is a part of a cactus that grows wild in the Southwest. By eating peyote, members of the Native American Church have visions that they believe bring them closer to God.

For more than 100 years, whites have tried to outlaw peyote use, maintaining that peyote is a dangerous drug.

To the Native American who belong to the Native American Church, however, it is a sacrament that allows them to have an experience absolutely necessary to the practice of their religion.

Throughout the twentieth century, Native American Church members have had to fight in court for the right to use peyote in their religious ceremonies.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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