If "Satan can't cast out Satan", then why do prayers/mantras/charms from other religions work sometimes?

Jesus said “Satan can’t cast out Satan” when people were accusing him of using demonic powers to help people. This was his way of showing that he is God and not some fraud with occult powers.

But there does seems to be some examples of “Satan casting out Satan” in other religions that deny the divinity of Christ and use heretical means to accomplish said tasks.

For example (s),

When a Hindu says a prayer or mantra to Hindu godswhile they are under attack by a demon and the demon goes away.

When a New ager uses tactics to cause a ghost to flee a haunted house.

When Buddha was tempted by a demon and the demon’s two daughters while he was meditating and on the brink of “enlightenment”, the demon was trying to keep Buddha from reaching “enlightenment”

The admonishment practices of Muslims work against evil spirits

How would this be possible?

If your answer is “Because Satan wants to trick them into thinking their religion is correct by acting like he is repelled by them.”…then what reason do you believe that he wouldn’t be doing that with Christians?

Ever heard of this thing called deception?

I mentioned that in the OP. How can we know he is not deceiving Christians like he does with people of non-Christian faith?

Peace be with you Brother.

I am originally from a country, which is known to practice a type of voodoo as well as black magic. My maternal Grandmother was a dabbler in this sort and often shared with me some of her knowledge practices.

I have often been taught by elders of the Church, that in order to cast out a spirit, you require a stronger spirit. The inflicted is no better off, however the new spirit may not affect him/her s bad as the previous. There are also ways of “Binding” a demon to an object in order to gain protection. I, however, would not bet my life on this.

The new spirit, may not cause the same harm to the patient, however, could cause a new and different harm in a way that is unnoticeable to us.

The best way to replace this spirit, without causing harm, is with the Holy Spirit.

Still, who is to say that God can heal an inflicted person through the prayers of a Hindu. I would not dare say it, as God works in ways that my tiny mind cannot fathom.

Dominus vobiscum.

We don’t know on our own; plain and simple. We accept that Christ is not a demon casting out demons because very few of His miracles actually dealt with possession. If all of his miracles had been casting out demons, then we might have cause for concern; but instead, most of Christ’s miracles focused on healing physical ailments. Healing a physical ailment is good (as indicated by God commanding it of his prophets), and demons are completely incapable of doing good (seeing as how they are being which have completely and absolutely rejected the source of all Good.) As such, we can conclude that Jesus, being capable of doing good, was not a demon. That only leaves one other source for His miracles.

With Hindus and other religions, there are two possibilities.

#1: They are being deceived by Satan. This is possible in your examples because they related specifically to removing a demon from a person. Doing so is not technically good because it has an evil end in mind, the promotion of a religion which is contrary to God.

#2: God, seeing that the people trying to perform the exorcism are, in their own misguided way, acting in genuine love for the person they are trying to help, may chose to accept their prayers, however misplaced, and heal a possessed individual. Remember, we are bound by Christ’s teachings on the proper form of worship, but that doesn’t mean that God is limited by them, or that he cannot extend his healing and love to those who have no knowledge of Him.

This is just my :twocents:.

Well for starters I have very compelling evidence from ocular witnesses that attest that: A) Jesus DID cast demons out on his own authority.
B) That this Jesus was killed by crucifixion and came back from the dead. Not in spirit (ghost) but in the flesh and bones, complete with the marks of the torture HE went through.

Do this other religions have any evidence as strong as the one presented by the Catholic Church?

They don’t. No one was present at the “illumination” of the buddha. And in fact the buddhism attests that buddha’s remains are buried somewhere.
We have an empty tomb.

This reasons make me very much doubt claims that they can fight never mind cast away demons.

#2 is most likely the case here.

The Church teaches that many of the other religions have SOME truth in them. All religious people of Good Will are attempting to worship God as best as they know how. So God may grant prayers from non-Christians when the person praying is pure of heart.

However, the Catholic Church is the fullness of Truth. But we are not the Completion of Truth. Meaning God has reveled Himself to us the most, and we know Him the best. But we do not know Him completely. There are still mysteries.

The point is: God can make exceptions (aka can grant His Mercy upon anyone). But Christian Revelation does NOT teach us all the different times God makes exceptions and grants us His Mercy.

I pray this is helpful.

God Bless

I guess this depends on whether you believe in the Name of Jesus, and Who he is. I guess this depends on whether or not you believe Jesus is God, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. I guess this depends on whether you take Jesus at his word, who said he is the Truth. I guess this depends on whether you believe demons tremble at the Name of Jesus.

Because if you believe none of those, then you have bigger things to worry about than whether exorcisms are genuine or not.

But if you do, then you have your answer.

Appear to work sometimes*

The person is worse off than before.

May the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

  1. We don’t know if it was anything demonic in the first place

  2. There is no teaching that says people of other faiths are incapable of repelling demons, or rather: that God is unwilling.

Thank you for your post, I found some of what you said very interesting.

If possible, could you please expand on:

  1. The Church teaching that says that other religions have some truth in them. Is it in the CCC? I would’ve thought that all other religions that don’t recognise Jesus as their Messiah and God incarnate, is opposed to the will of God (thinking 1st commandment). Aside from the ‘invincible ignorance’ teaching, I would like to know if this isn’t the case. Please educate me!

  2. What could be the mysteries that we still don’t know? Is it something big or is it that we just cannot know God completely. I would agree with the latter as the Saints and angels will spend an eternity contemplating God and will never know Him 100% completely.

Thank you and God bless.

to answer question 1, here is a quote from the Vatican website: “The Second Vatican Council had given some very clear guidelines also on this point, recognizing the presence and action of the Holy Spirit not only in the Church but also outside it, and above all in other religions.” see link below for source


To answer question 2, even Paul, who had a great understanding of God’s church, acknowledged mysteries:

1 Corinthians 13:12
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

So people continue with these religions instead of looking for a religion that actually works.

A bit like a thief chasing another thief away (his friend) so you trust the second thief and allow him in your life to cause more damage.

Is this an opinion based on actual cases you’ve looked into, or is it just something you believe seems to generally occur since other religions have rituals to drive away the diabolical? How sure are you of your presupposition? Your examples aren’t really examples, they’re just categories that an example could fit under if you happened to have one.

I would think that making a distinction here is in order first, especially before seemingly casting doubts on Scripture, but also before asking people to explain to you why something apparently occurs. First you need to demonstrate that other religions really are capable of driving out the demonic, and then you can ask why this phenomenon appears to exist. :wink:

Well the Buddha story and the Hindu story are both in their religion’s sacred scriptures.

The rest are things I hear from people of other faiths. I’m going to assume they are not lying about it.

Your question doesn’t make sense

They may work, they may not work. In any event, how knowledgable are you actually, about the actual cultures that these other religions tend to be associated with? Because even the most devout of people who practice these religions, are well aware that what they are practicing, is very powerful, and often beyond human understanding. I have said this before, and will say it again. Even within the cultures that are stereotypically known for practicing these religions, this stuff is considered secret knowledge, and it is well understood that there is to be absolutely no room for dilettantism. It is dangerous. And I say that with complete sincerity. It seems that often, the older people who knew too much about this stuff, would rather keep this kind of knowledge within their own families, perhaps as family business, or, they would carry their secrets to their graves. How is that not a red flag?

Contrast that with Church exorcisms. It is based on God’s authority to drive out demons. It is based on the graces of God. It’s not really based on how competent, or how intelligent, or how skilled, the priest doing the exorcism, is, with the spiritual world. If it were so, that is actually kind of messed. And there are only a select group of men who carry that authority.

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