By Tafadzwa Mutsotso
Veneration of the dead is based on the belief the dead have a continued existence and or poses the ability to influence the fortune of the living based on love and respect for the deceased.
The Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church venerate saints as intercessors with God and they believe in prayer for departed souls.
Other religious groups, however consider veneration of the dead to be idolatry and sinful.
The idea of celebrating ancestors has been a controversial topic between Christian believers and non-Christian believers.
South Africa is set to declare May 8 as Ancestor Day.
South African renowned cultural activist and poet Laureate Xolani Mkiva and the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) is partnering with Castle Milk tout to officially launch Ancestors day on the May 8.
The day is going to be declared a holiday to celebrate and observe African spirituality and its role in the lives of South Africans through rituals and ceremonies.
Speaking during an interview on SABC 1, Mkiva said ancestors were a significant part of African people therefore there was need for improved communication between the people and their ancestors.
“Ancestors are very important because we flow from their blood line and we are made from their own bones and therefore they are our forefathers; our firebase,” said Mkiva.
“They are the ones who have ushered the way in order for us to exist and to manage the current circumstances and also prepare the future, so we cannot neglect where we came from because these are our roots and there is a very special relationship between us and then which is our spiritual connection so what we need to do is to improve our communication so that at all times we interface with our ancestors.”
Mkiva said communication with ancestors was to be done on a daily basis with people going to sacred places.
“ Communication with ancestors is like you are praying in a manner that is informed by your own cultural background, it should be a day to day thing,” he said.
“What we are trying to do by establishing the Ancestors’ day is for us to put hands together and communicate with our ancestors as collective of the natives of this country.”
South Africans are set to go to the kraals or grave yards on this day to communicate with their ancestors and ask for help areas they needed assistance. developments they need.
However, Christian organisations have raised concerns over the development.
Speaking on his Facebook channel, Dr Arthur Frost said Christians should pray for South Africa on May 8 to bring down any demonic powers that could be activated by Ancestral day rituals .
“Stand as a body of Christ every Christian, we are going to create a spiritual blanket over our nation to reverse every single curse that gets released,” he said.
“The power of God is greater than anything.
“We are going to have a five-minute prayer lead by prayer warriors every hour from 0900hrs to 2100hrs on May 8.
“I call for urgent prayer on the same day.
“Let us all help South Africa to pray against this evil thing.”