United Church of God has always had problems with its South American churches. Now it seems witchcraft is now infecting their Brazilian churches. Vik Kubik and Jorge de Campos went to Brazil recently to see what was going on.
At a church service this past week in Oklahoma, de Campos spilled the beans about those ornery Brazilians and the witchcraft issue.
Brazil has been dealing with Candomblé, a religion that developed from the animist beliefs of African slaves that were traded in Brazil. Candomblé gatherings usually last four hours, with singing, drumming and dancing. Its followers scream and freeze in place as they become possessed by their deities called Orixás. Many of these deities are associated with forces of nature and they are also combined with Catholic saints, tieing them into Christianity. The slaves deceived their Portuguese masters by claiming to believe in the saints but were actually worshipping their Candomblé deities.
With the widespread influence of evangelicalism in Brazil, there have been major confrontations between Christians and the Candomblé followers. Now even fringe American cults groups are having to deal with it.