Pray Against Animism and Ancestral Worship

Spreading the Good News to every corner of the earth poses various challenges. Different regions present unique obstacles, from language barriers to cultural differences.

One major challenge we regularly encounter is animism and ancestral worship.

Over 150 million people spread across all continents practice some type of traditional animist religion. From the tribes of North America to the jungles of South America to the villages of Africa and Asia, many share this common barrier to the Gospel.


What is Animism?

Animism in the rainforest

Animism is a belief that attributes a soul to plants, creatures or inanimate objects, and involves worshiping nature and ancestral spirits.

For instance, South America tribal communities see the rainforest as the home of spiritual life – with every flower, plant and animal containing its own spirit.

The traditions of animism and ancestor worship are often regarded as things of the past, but in reality, the age-old beliefs of ancestors, spirits, and communication with the dead still hold many people across the globe in great bondage.

These people are loved by God, created in His image, and He wants them to return to Him.


A Spirit of Fear

Witch doctor

All ancestor worshippers, animists and tribal religions view spirits as the utmost power of the world. Spirits may be those generated by the earth or those who have passed from this life, but they are believed to have dominion over people, bringing either blessings or curses.

There is an extreme and unrealistic fear that the spirits or gods must be appeased and not offended – holding followers trapped in terror.


From Witchdoctor to Jesus Worshipper

Brother Banda from Zambia. Harvesters Ministries

Brother Banda, formerly a witch doctor or shaman in Zambia for 32 years, instilled fear into all who encountered him, including other witch doctors. As the chairman of witch doctors in his province and on the national disciplinary committee, no other witch doctors could operate in the area without his approval.

Local Pastor Thembo, who was trained by Harvesters in evangelism strategies, ministered to Brother Banda, teaching him the Word of God until he finally burned all his charms and left his old life behind.

Shortly after, Brother Banda became seriously ill and lost the ability to walk. Although multiple tests showed nothing wrong with him, Pastor Thembo recognised the battle was spiritual and prayed without ceasing.

Eventually, Brother Banda was fully delivered by the power of the Lord Jesus and recovered, as reported by Pastor Thembo. His healing became a powerful testimony, revealing to Brother Banda, who had previously made his living creating spiritual medicines, that there is only one Healer – Jesus Christ. After years of false beliefs and spirit worship, his eyes are open to the truth.


Prayer Points

Strings on a tree

Pray with us >>
  • Pray for the work of Harvesters Ministries among cultures practising animism and ancestral worship on every continent.
  • Pray for the hearts of people following these traditional belief systems – that they would be open to the Gospel.
  • Pray for fear to be shattered and replaced with the peace and freedom of Christ.
  • Pray for more testimonies like that of Brother Banda. Pray that his life will be a living witness to other witch doctors in Zambia.




Harvesters Ministries