Around the world, many religious practices incorporate naturally-occurring hallucinogenic compounds using plants like Cannabis, Datura, S. divinorum, and peyote; fungi like P. cubensis; and preparations like ayahuasca. Are there Christian churches with practices which incorporate hallucinogens?

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    Everyone: please remember that in these denomination-survey questions we're not here to pass judgement. Lots of denominations practice things which we might consider syncretistic or even detestable. On the other hand, lack of personal experience of the practice is not sufficient grounds for giving a negative answer.
    – curiousdannii
    Jun 13, 2023 at 23:50

1 Answer 1


Some Christians consume hallucinogens as part of their religious practice.


The União do Vegetal (WP) is a Brazilian Christian tradition which has hundreds of chapters. They serve a trademarked ayahuasca blend at their ceremonies.

Additionally, The Church of the Holy Light of the Queen uses ayahuasca in their rituals; they do not have a website, but a 2009 newspaper article discusses the legal struggle related to their practices. Quoting from that article:

According to the church's lawsuit, the tea is the central ritual and sacrament of the religion where members believe "only by taking the tea can a church member have direct experience with Jesus Christ."

Salvia divinorum

The Mazatec are known to use several hallucinogens in combination with Catholic beliefs and rituals, including Cannabis and P. cubensis. Most notably, they call S. divinorum "La María" and overlap references it with references to the Virgin Mary. Quoting from Ethnopharmacology of ska María Pastora (Salvia divinorum, Epling AND Játiva-M.), p6:

The Mazatecs … are nominally Catholic Christians, but they have incorporated many features of their traditional beliefs into their conceptions of God and the Saints, whom they consider to have been the first healers.

This phenomenon is partially motivated by the narrow native range of S. divinorum. As the first sentence of The Botany of Salvia divinorum (labiatae) summarizes:

Salvia divinorum, ceremoniously employed by the Mazatec Indians of Oaxaca, is endemic to the sierra inhabited by the Mazatec, its distribution anthropogenic.

Combinations / Unclear

The Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light, or ONAC of Inner Light, does not advertise their psychedelics on their front page, but a 2016 local news article quotes them as using Cannabis and peyote in addition to psilocybin-bearing mushrooms.

  • This answer (and the question) were synthesized from a deleted question which was more broad. I'm leaving this open to community edits; I don't want karma for this, I want to create a non-passive-aggressive stepping stone for further discussion. Please feel free to add additional instances of Christians using hallucinogens in their practices, including links to evidence. Thanks!
    – Corbin
    Jun 11, 2023 at 16:35
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – Corbin
    Jun 12, 2023 at 16:29
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    We may not approve of the practices of these churches, but they seem like clear examples to me.
    – curiousdannii
    Jun 13, 2023 at 23:54

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