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What is the difference between Candomblé, Umbanda, Quimbanda and Spiritism?

Since they are all based on communicability with spirits, there is a lot of confusion between them. In the resolution of the answer we will address four aspects that we consider fundamental for a complete understanding of the theme: origin, purpose, presence or absence of rituals and how religious practice takes place.


Origin: Brought by the slaves of Africa in the late 16th century.

Objective: To reach the Divine by the guidance of the Spirits. They believe in one God, but they also worship a series of Orixás, who are considered to be representative deities of nature, who care for and balance the energies of our existence. It is a musically and culturally rich religion. When it came to Brazil, the religion underwent changes to evade Catholic persecution, so each Orixá was associated with a saint of the Catholic Church, to mislead the Jesuits and continue the cult.

Rituals: Huge ritualistic with clothes that represent the clothing of the Orishas. There are various offerings in the relationship between man and his Orixá, such as the presentation of songs, or rituals with animals. The Orisha is believed to use the energy and ethereal force emanating from the animal, in tune with the energies and intentions of man.

Religious Practice: Practice intended for good, with no mooring work or anything that might harm the other. Orixas incorporations are practiced by mediums of these deities, however, there is no incorporation or psychophony of other disembodied ones. Consultations are made through the "game of shells". These Orixás, as they see it, have the potential to nullify negative energies and, by themselves, provide the necessary harmony and spirituality to human beings.


Origin: It also derives from Afro-Brazilian religions, but was born in 1908 by the medium Zélio de Moraes, when he incorporated an entity called “Caboclo das Sete Encruzilhadas”. With the help of spirits who presented themselves as former slaves (old black) and former indigenous (caboclos) founded the first center in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro. It is considered a truly Brazilian religion.

Objective: Like Spiritism, the objective is to reach the maximum degree of spiritual evolution. Believes in reincarnation. It unites elements of Catholicism, Spiritism, Afro-Brazilian religions and also the worship practiced by the indigenous, follows the principle of fraternity and charity under the laws of nature and the spiritual plan. It is also known as white line, white magic or pure Umbanda. There is a consensus that there is a supreme God and Jesus appears as a deity to be worshiped under the name of Oxala, but they also worship the Orixás.

Rituals: Unlike Candomblé, they do not perform rituals with animals, preferring the use of instruments such as pipes, skirts, candles, stones, crystals, baths, smokes, herbs, necklaces, beverages and tobaccos in minimal use, in order to dispel negative energies. . Mediums wear only white clothing. Sessions begin early in the evening and do not exceed midnight. Most traditional houses use no drum, only corners or clapping to keep up with the beat.

Religious Practice: Practices consist of positive actions in accordance with ethics and morals, but it is possible, however, to claim a kind of "spiritual justice." The sessions are public. The Orixás are worshiped, and there is also the incorporation of guides that represent an emanation from each Orixá. These guides sometimes behave like children, old blacks, indigenous people and even manifest vices acquired in the last reincarnations, such as smoking. Nowadays, most have resorted to the vast Kardecist literature for further clarification regarding the spirit world.


Origin: Afro-Brazilian religion that emerged in Rio Grande do Sul from the mid-1960s. It is often confused with Kiumbanda (or Quiumbanda), which is the practice of working spiritually with kiumbas. [1] It is a religious sect formed by evolving spirits, where the concept of good and evil are necessary conditions for the learning of the entities.

Objective: Through the worship of the Exus, they aim to respond quickly and immediately to their desires. The Exus are considered as interlocutors between men and the gods, and are usually spirits that vibrate in the woods, cemeteries and crossroads. Because of this, they are known as street people. Usually, the cult involves the use of wilder energies, considered to be great for strengthening the attack and defense, called Eguns. Beelzebub and Lucifer represent the strongest spirits of this type of energy.

Rituals: They may vary from the place of worship and its adherents, usually requiring animal sacrifice. The clothing varies, as there are those who perform shirtless rituals for a purer contact with the ancestor and the earth, others who wear only black or red clothing, and those who wear preponderantly colored colors, always having the presence of black color, many props and jewelry. The colors of the temple are usually dark and use instruments such as pipes, necklaces, preferably colored and somewhat black, drinks and tobacco in large quantities. The sessions go past midnight and may continue at dawn.

Religious practice: Do the ethical and the unethical simultaneously, depending on the need for assistance. Unlike Umbanda, there is no study of the Spiritist Doctrine, nor the frequent presence of guides, such as caboclos or old blacks, who rarely participate in services. This time, although the Quimbanda has no spiritual guides, their participation in the sessions is not excluded.


Origin: Doctrine emerged in France in the nineteenth century, being the first spiritist work published in April 1857. Its teachings were brought by the Spirits and organized by Allan Kardec, in the so-called Kardequian Pentateuch: The Spirits 'Book, The Mediums' Books, The Gospel according to Spiritism, Heaven and Hell and Genesis.

Objective: We are all eternal spirits, created simple and ignorant, that is, without knowledge, destined for relative perfection. It is based on reincarnation, which allows the Spirit to progressively improve. In this way we can go the way of good or evil, depending on our free will, but one day we will all be pure, perfect and happy spirits.

Rituals: Spiritism has no dogmas, rituals, special clothing, chalice with wine or any alcohol, incense, smoke, altars, images, candles, spiritual works, talismans, animal sacrifice, palmistry, fortune telling, astrology, payment of promises, orders etc. ., no activities of this bias are found in the spiritist houses.

Religious practice: Living the law of love and charity, loving God above all things and neighboring oneself as oneself. The mediumistic session is private, without any ritualistic, in which assistance is given to the needy spirits, through the reception, protection and guidance to these hearts, being integrated by workers, mediums, who possess spiritualistic knowledge and moral conduct compatible with the gospel of Jesus. , our master and guide. It also brings important learning for the embodied team.


[1] Wikipedia. Quimbanda. Available at: <>. Accessed on: 11 Jun. 2018.

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