Witchcraft, Fear Abound [Excerpts]
As [missionaries] study the culture and language of the Mozambican people they have discovered that the culture has many more layers than appear on the surface.
In many homes in Mozambique almost every area of interaction is affected by witchcraft and curses.
Kent and Jenny have gained some cultural insights that will help present the Gospel in a culturally relevant way.
If a woman cannot have children, she was probably cursed by family members. But, there is a solution for her. She can go to a traditional healer and, for a price, be helped to have children. However, this “cure” is not a one-time fix. Each time she wants to have a child she must go back to the traditional healer.
When you go out, you always have to come back by a different route than the one you took leaving your house. If you do not, someone may have put a curse in the path in order to bring you harm.
If you buy a quantity of food (spaghetti, dried manioc, rice, etc), you should make sure to bring it home after darkness falls. If you do not do so, every time you take out the food to cook it, any witchdoctor who may have happened to see you bring it home will magically take some out at the same time. And, in this way, your food will run out in no time at all.
Even if a witchdoctor doesn’t see you bring food home, he may still turn himself into a rat at night and sneak into your house to steal it.
If someone manages to get ahead in life, it is because he is harming someone else. That may be the reason you are sick or that your garden just does not seem to do well. A father may even kill his children through witchcraft in order for his business to do better.
If one’s grandmothers (on both sides) are witchdoctors, that person is really bad off. Why? Because the grandmothers will probably get together and decide to kill their grandchildren, in order to not go hungry or in order to do better in life.
Many widowed ladies are considered witchdoctors because the logical explanation of why they are still alive is that they are keeping themselves alive by hurting or killing other people in their family.
Pray for [missionaries] as they build relationships and learn more about the people of Mozambique so that one day they can bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to them.
[TBC: Witchcraft is primarily a belief system. Although Satan has powers he can execute as God allows, as we see in the Book of Job, his more common approach is to get people into bondage by believing the fear-promoting false teachings that his minions spread.]