Religion in The Lion King

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Religion as we know it has had a great influence on The Lion King.


In the beginning, Simba is born and Rafiki performs some kind of ritual. All the animals are gathered around Pride Rock. He then proceeds to crack the gourd and smears a line of the substance across Simba’s forehead. This is then followed by sprinkling dust over Simba. When Rafiki holds Simba up in the air, he is presenting him to the kingdom as a new life.

These are similar to both baptism in Christianity and baptism in West-African ceremonies. In Christianity, water is placed on the head to wash away sins and signifies the new life in Christ. In West-African ceremonies, when a child is baptized, it is a great happening. A lot of people gather round as the grandfather presents the child to the crowd.

Biblical references

Simba thinks he killed his father and therefore flees out of the Pride Lands in shame. This event is similar to Moses fleeing the desert after killing an Egyptian. After that, Moses was taken in by the family of Jethro. The same happened to Simba as he is taken in by Timon and Pumbaa.

When Simba returns to Pride Rock, he fights Scar and ends up throwing him off a cliff and killing him. Simba saved the animals from chaos, starvation, and extinction. This is similar to the savior requesting humanity by conquering Satan.


When Simba is upset and runs away from Timon and Pumbaa, Mufasa appears in the sky telling him to go back and take his place in the Circle of Life. This is a clear reference to the afterlife and family members that have passed away watching over you.