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For example, ancestral worship is central to traditional religious practices, but it is not vital to Christian customs. This loss has caused a dilemma for many elders about what will happen to them in the afterlife. Some have tried to keep their indigenous religious practices, which can be difficult to reenact in urban settings. For the Iu-Mien and Hmong, animal sacrifice traditionally is accompanied by loud chanting, but this is difficult to perform in dense, urban spaces where it is viewed negatively by mainstream society. Such practices have therefore been modified.
Striving to Maintain Traditions
Other groups have maintained their ethnic religious practices, using or renting makeshift sites. Some ethnic groups have also built their own churches and temples on permanent sites, including some quite elaborate ones that are central sites for community events. Having respected spiritual leaders and establishing religious sites play crucial roles in enlarging ethnic communities and attracting followers to settle in a particular area. Various religious groups or parishes, both across the United States and internationally, maintain close contact with one another, holding annual gatherings to renew their faith. Some also work to maintain religious freedom in their homeland by condemning human rights violations inflicted upon religious leaders and attempting to revitalize followers in areas where they have been politically suppressed.