What kinds of things can open you up to demonic oppression?

Matt Slick


Demonic oppression is a reality experienced by all kinds of people, all over the world, both believers and nonbelievers. It is stressful, often frightening, and can result in depression, sickness, and emotional problems.  But, what is demonic oppression?

"Demonic oppression is the work of evil spiritual forces that urge us to sin, to deny God's word, to feel spiritually dead, and to be in bondage to sinful things.  This oppressive work is performed by evil spiritual forces who resist God, and who sinned in their first estate (Jude 6).  They war against God, against God's people, and against unbelievers as well.  Their goal is to bring as many people as possible into rebellion against God and condemnation in hell."  /questions/about-demons/what-demonic-oppression

There are many things that can open a person to demonic oppression such as drugs, sin, the occult, etc. Let me list a few of them out for you in two main categories.

  1. Mind altering practices
    1. drug use, visualization, contemplative prayer, centering prayer, energy balancing, guided meditation
  2. Occult practices
    1. Astrology, sorcery, prayers to the dead, tarot cards, sorcery, Ouija boards, séances, necromancy (contacting the dead), grave soaking, astral projection, objects used in occult ceremonies, channeling, spirit guides, animal guides.

The two main areas that I see that contribute to demonic oppression deal that which alters the mind and those things which are occultic in practice.  Both of these categories are what we call "doors." Doors are avenues through which demonic forces can exert influence. Generally speaking, whenever I deal with people who suspect they are under demonic oppression, I ask them a series of questions and trying to discover if they have been involved with or are presently involved with any of the items mentioned above. If they have been, then I talk to them about repenting from those sinful practices.  I also urge them to contact the elders of their church and have them come into their homes and pray for them.

These kind of things are should be forbidden in Scripture

  • Deuteronomy 18:10–11, "10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead."  
  • Galatians 5:19–20, "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,"

Demonic oppression and possession

The Bible speaks of demonic oppression which can include being possessed and oppressed. The difference between oppression and possession is that oppression is external where possession is internal. In other words, if a person is oppressed, it is by a force outside of him. But possession is when there is something in him; namely, a demonic presence. Please consider the following verses.

  • Oppressed by the devil
    •  Acts 10:38, "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."
  • Possession
    • Matthew 15:22, "And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.”"
    • Mark 1:23–24, "Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
    • Luke 8:30, "And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him."

Physical Ailments

The Bible speaks not only of demonic oppression and possession, but it also speaks of physical afflictions due to demonic influences.  In the Gospels, there are occurrences where those afflicted by demonic forces were blind and mute.

  • Matthew 9:32–33, "As they were going out, a mute, demon-possessed man was brought to Him. 33 After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel."
  • Matthew 12:22, "Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw."
  • Luke 11:14, "And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute; when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed."

Of course, this does not mean that all ailments are from demonic sources. But the biblical record records the fact that demonic forces can have oppressive and restrictive effects on a person's physical body.


If you suspect that you, or someone you know, might be under demonic oppression then take a look at the categories at the beginning of this article that deal with the doors that open a person up to demonic influence. If there are any that you have participated in in the past or present, then repent of them. Confess them before the Lord as sinful actions and denounce them. I further recommend that you contact the elders of your church and ask for prayer. If you do not feel relief from suspected oppression, then again contact the elders. Hopefully, they will be willing to get more involved in your life and get others to pray as well. It's a spiritual battle, so we need spiritual weapons.





About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.