The belief that evil spirits can possess humans has been terrifying people through our history.
Here are 10 interesting facts about exorcism. Here we go!
- According to the Catholic Church, after the exorcism has been finished the person possessed feels a kind of release, feels reborn and freed of sin.
- In Islam, exorcism is called ruqya. It is used to repair the damage caused by black magic or sihr.
- In 2005 a young nun in Romania died at the hands of a priest during an exorcism after being bound to a cross, gagged and left for days without food or water in an effort to expel demons.
- In 1997, Mother Teresa was hospitalized in India for cardiac problems. Archbishop Henry D’Souza was also in the hospital at that time. He noticed how she was being changed when day turned night. He believed she was under an evil influence and with her permission, he sought out an exorcism for her. Afterwards, the Archbishop said that she had no trouble sleeping.
- In ancient Mesopotamia, people believed that any kind of sickness was the result of a powerful spirit entering the body and attacking the individual.
- The Roman Catholic Church claims to find true demonic possessions once in every 5000 cases.
- The Vatican first issued official guidelines on exorcism in 1614 and revised them in 1999. According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, signs of demonic possession include superhuman strength, aversion to holy water and the ability to speak in unknown languages.
- There are numerous reports of people who died (from beating to death to suffocating) while trying to be cured by exorcism.
- In 2003, an autistic boy of the age of eight was bound in sheets and held down by church members during a prayer service held to exorcise the evil spirits believed to be behind his condition. The child died and extensive bruising on his back and neck suggested he died of asphyxiation.
- Many exorcisms have sadly been performed on individuals who are emotionally and mentally disturbed. In some cultures, the act of restraining a person believed to be possessed is common and has led to some fatal consequences. In fact, there are 370.000 reported cases of people killed during exorcism and another 310.000 reported injuries.
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