ADVERTISING
 
Wednesday, March 27   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Bible literacy
How often do you read the Bible?







SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Africa
 

Drums in the neighbor's house

Most Mozambicans say they are Christian, but in rural areas, it’s not hard to find evidence of shamanism and ethnic rites.

AUTHOR Jonatán Soriano TRANSLATOR Israel Planagumà MACIA (MOZAMBIQUE) 03 JANUARY 2019 17:35 h GMT+1
Amask of an elephant in the wall of a house where shamanism is practised.. / Jonatán Soriano.

Another day just went by in Sekeleka. Boys and girls are getting back home after an evening of arts and crafts downtown, painting in watercolors.



From a distance, from an undetermined direction, arrives a monotonous drumbeat. “Witch doctors”, says one of the educators working with downtown children.



He frowns and puffs: “This time you can really hear it” and looks across the road, where trees stand in disarray, hiding the first streets and houses of Macia.



This is the south of Mozambique, the most developed region, although we still have over a hundred kilometers to get to Maputo, the capital city and most advanced province.



Macia is a small town with no heavy industries; it’s notorious for its tourism, being as it is close to Bilhene, one of the beaches that draws more visitors in the country.



Life is absolutely rural, so it’s not hard to find evidence of how deep-rooted shamanism and ethnic rites still are.



 



Maciais a small town with no heavy industries. / J. Soriano



 



PREDOMINANCE IN NEIGHBORHOODS FAR FROM DOWNTOWN



Next to the road that leads to the capital, a yellow banner announces something in Shangani. “It’s a witch doctor, right in that house”, says the educator pointing at an area with trees and several buildings.



It’s Macia’s Neighborhood 1, one of the neighborhoods farthest from downtown; one can find a market, some stores and countless street market traders selling anything from fruit to car parts.



After a few streets we find the property of one of the educators at Sekeleka. He gets out some chairs promptly and places them under a fruit tree. We start an unexpected conversation about how expensive mango is in Spain, but we can’t keep talking.



The drumbeat fills the air. It’s coming from the neighbor’s house. “They are always practicing shamanism. Only prayer can change this situation”, tells us this member of the Second Baptist Church of Macia.



Over the thicket separating both properties one can see a group of women sitting on the floor, in line, each playing a drum. There’s no trace of the witch doctor, but everybody is expecting that, any minute, a man wearing feathers or wood pendants will come out from somewhere.



 



COMMUNITIES



Besides the daycare center project, Sekeleka is also, in parallel, monitoring families with special-needs children or youth, or those in a vulnerable situation, in the communities and villages around Macia.



A group of activists, as the workers and volunteers collaborating with the center call themselves, is in contact with the leaders and people in charge of every area, who tell them which households have these kinds of problems and needs.



Hereupon a first visit with the family takes place to determine whether it qualifies for the program.



 



Two of the activists that work with Sekeleka. / Diana Rodríguez



We left behind the asphalt road leading to Maputo a while ago, and our Toyota pick-up truck is following a dirt road. Our vehicle drives by children yelling “mulungu”, the Shangani word referring to white people, to stop by a property with several apartment buildings.



In the middle there is a cross, made out of oxidized metal; two objects are hanging from it, apparently cans. It’s impossible to determine that without getting closer. “Witch doctors”, says the project coordinator.



There, a family is awaiting them; they have a girl who, according to her parents and grandmother, has mobility problems. The girl doesn’t talk at all. Her expression is grave and she’s watching everybody.



The coordinator asks her relatives if she’s been subjected to any witch doctor healing, and they answer she hasn’t. “That’s a lie”, the coordinator tells us later. “Many families try to hide it, but it’s obvious that that girl has taken something”.



She’s referring to the supposedly natural medicine they sometimes use. “Sometimes it works, and then they think it’s a valid treatment, but many times they cause more harm, since these are very powerful drugs”.



In another house, the coordinator and the activists sit opposite a mother with her daughter, an adult with limited mobility in her left arm and leg. The house, although made out of brick and cement, is already old.



The woman tells us that she left her former house, which was better, because she’s convinced her husband’s first wive cast a spell on her daughter, and that’s the reason part of her body is not well. It’s the first visit of the morning in which someone admits having been treated by a witch doctor.



 



Parents ring their children to shamanism rites. / J. Soriano



Exactly the opposite of what they find in the last interview. As soon as we get in the house, one of the activists warns us that we are in witch doctor territory. A mask resembling an elephant, missing a tusk, is hanging from the wall.



The family tells us that one of their children can’t talk well, he seems not to understand anything. When the coordinator sees the boy, she realizes he’s got Down’s Syndrome, and asks his parents to give him lots of love. No talk about witch doctors whatsoever.



 



RELIGION IN MOZAMBIQUE



According to the Joshua Project, ethnic religions and rites are the second biggest religious group in the country, representing 27% of the population. The first group is Christianity, with close to 53% of Mozambiqueans; among these, the leading groups are Catholics, independent churches and protestants.



In fact, it’s noteworthy that in a town such as Macia, with 30,000 people, Baptists, Adventists, Assemblies of God, Presbyterians and other denominations are all represented. We can also find independent churches.



 



Shamanismis common in some areasof the country. / D. Rodríguez



On the façade of a small apartment building next to the road there’s a drawing of a heart with a white dove. “Jesus is the universal Lord”, it says. It’s an ad from the Universal Church of God’s Kingdom, which also has a presence in the country.



This amalgam is surprising when we take into account that the group that took the nation to independence from Portugal, back in 1975, was the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), which was Marxist, originally.



But the later turn towards social democracy normalized the situation. Today, people who consider themselves as non-religious barely pass the 3% of the population.



 



Childre playing whiletheir mother talked with the Sekeleka coordinator. / J. Soriano



 



THE RISE OF ISLAM



“Mesquita”, meaning Mosque in Portuguese, can be read in a small banner with an arrow under it when entering Macia. “Islam has really grown here”, says one of the educators at Sekeleka. “After the Civil War, they really helped people, especially in the north of the country, so many people became Muslims.”



The Mosque building is small, painted white and with two stories. Walking through the streets one can come across a veiled woman, very occasionally.



The influence of Islam in the south is still small, even though it already is the third religious group in the country by number of parishioners, representing almost 17% of the population.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Drums in the neighbor's house
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process

The Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance offers a Christian perspective on the crisis: “We can’t reduce people to just a number that needs to be controlled”.

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

 
Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!” Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!”

Bulgarian evangelicals protested peacefully on November 11 against a draft law which could severely restrict religious freedom of faith minorities. Churches rallied in Sofia and other cities after the Sunday worship services.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

 
VIDEO Video
 
Romania: God’s Word among Roma people Romania: God’s Word among Roma people

Gypsies are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in Romania. According to 2013 estimates, the Roma groups make up 10% of the country's population, accounting for about 1.5 million people.

 
Latin American leaders unite to fight against imposition of gender ideology Latin American leaders unite to fight against imposition of gender ideology

Christian leaders from all over Latin America are concerned about the progress of gender ideology agendas in the region. Many are joining together in public demonstrations and training events.

 
How do fake news spread? How do fake news spread?

Tony Watkins, Coordinator of the Lausanne Media Engagement Network.

 
Lindsay Brown: The encouraging advance of the gospel in Spain Lindsay Brown: The encouraging advance of the gospel in Spain

Church planting, the amount of books authored by Spanish evangelicals and the growth of the Christian student movement in the last decades, are some of the marks underlined by Lindsay Brown.

 
What do Christian communication and science communication have in common? What do Christian communication and science communication have in common?

“As Christians, we also try to communicate a detailed and often slightly technical message”, says Kay Carter, Director of Communications of Tyndale House (UK).

 
Church planting in Strasbourg Church planting in Strasbourg

A video on how evangelicals are planting churches in Strasbourg (France).

 
Christians, resilience and a post-Christian culture Christians, resilience and a post-Christian culture

Lindsay Brown: “The biblical pattern is not one of speed, but of steady sowing and gradual reaping in due course”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.