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Inside the Global Exorcism ‘Boom’

Inside the Global Exorcism ‘Boom’

In this article for Vice, the author references Theos’ 2017 report, ‘Christianity and Mental Health: Theology, Activities, Potential’. 19/06/2019

The belief that demons exist is as old as religion itself, but at the end of last year it was reported that exorcisms are back in a big way. In 2017, the Catholic rite of exorcism was translated into English for the first time since being standardised in the early 17th century, and in May of this year the Vatican held a dedicated “exorcist training convention” in Rome following a sharp rise in “reports of demonic possession around the world”.

Looking into what’s caused this current “spike” throws up complex answers. What’s evident is that it isn’t just a Catholic concern, as a 2017 report by faith–focused think–tank Theos made clear. The “Christianity and Mental Health” paper points to Pentecostalism – the Protestant renewal movement with an emphasis on direct personal connections to God – “[which is mainly] driven by immigrant communities and churches [which are] very open about their exorcism services”.

Article by Francisco Garcia @ffranciscodgf.

Read the Vice article in full here.

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Ben Ryan

Ben Ryan

Ben Ryan is Head of Research at Theos. He is the editor of Fortress Britain? Ethical Approaches to Immigration Policy for a Post–Brexit Britain (JKP 2018) and the author of Theos reports on chaplaincy, the EU, the Catholic charity sector, mental health and ecumenism. He holds degrees in European politics from the LSE and in Theology and Religious Studies from Cambridge. Outside of Theos he is a trustee of CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network).

Posted 19 June 2019


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