The English theologian John Wesley (1703-1791) bemoaned the end of the Witch-Hunts and the decline in belief in Witchcraft: "the giving up of witchcraft is in effect giving up the Bible. With my latest breath I will bear testimony against giving up to infidels one great proof of the invisible world; I mean that of witchcraft and apparitions, confirmed by the testimony of all ages." [John Wesley, Journal, ed. N. Curnock (8 vols., 1909 16), entry for 25 May 1768.] Two years after the just quoted journal entry, Wesley once again explicitly blamed the end of the Witch-Hunts on the ascendancy of "infidels", made possible only by the acquiescence of "complaisant Christians" [journal entry for July 4, 1770].
So the theological foundations of Pentecostalism include the fervent desire to return to the days when Witchcraft was an aggressively prosecuted capital crime! In that light perhaps it should come as no surprise that to this day Pentecostalists, and other spiritual heirs of John Wesley, continue to pursue the agenda of spiritual warfare, and that this sometime ends very tragically.
Mom convicted in son's exorcism death (Indiana, 2011)
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - A Fort Wayne woman who forced her 2-year-old son to drink a concoction of olive oil and vinegar because she thought it would exorcise a demon from him has been convicted of murder. Latisha Lawson also was convicted of neglect and battery charges, the Journal Gazette reported. Jurors deliberated for about five hours Friday before finding her guilty. Lawson faces at least 45 years in prison when she is sentenced next month ....
Connecticut mother kills her three year old daughter while trying to "ward off the Devil" (2011)
NANTUCKET — The woman accused of killing her 3-year-old daughter earlier this week believed God had instructed her to stick a rose in the young girl's throat to ward off the devil, according to documents filed in Nantucket District Court. Dora Alicia Tejada Pleitez, 26, of 13B Pine Tree Road was held without bail pending a mental competency hearing following her arraignment Tuesday on a murder charge. She was taken off the island Tuesday for the evaluation and is scheduled to appear in Nantucket District Court on Monday for a pretrial hearing ....
East Texas couple beat their one year old child to death during exorcism (2008)
A young East Texas couple was arraigned Wednesday on capital murder charges accusing them of beating the woman's 1-year-old daughter to get rid of "the demons. Authorities said that the child was also bitten more than 20 times. Blaine Milam, 19, and Jessica Carson, 18, remained jailed Wednesday in lieu of a $2 million bond for each ....
Grandfather trying to violently exorcise his three year old grandaughter tased to death by police (Arizona, 2007)
PHOENIX — Officers responding to a report of an exorcism on a young girl found her grandfather choking her and used stun guns to subdue the man, who later died, authorities said Sunday. The 3-year-old girl and her mother, who was also in the room during the struggle between 49-year-old Ronald Marquez and officers, were hospitalized, police said. Their condition was unavailable. The relative who called police said an exorcism had also been attempted Thursday. "The purpose was to release demons from this very young child," said Sgt. Joel Tranter ....
Mother and father kill six year old daugher while trying to "undemonize" her (Georgia, 2004)
A 6-year-old girl found dead in a motel room had been strangled, stabbed, beaten and covered in pages torn from a Bible, possibly in an attempt to "undemonize" her, police said Tuesday. Christopher Carey, 29, and his wife Valerie, 27, were taken to a psychiatric ward Monday and charged with murder. The husband was later transferred to jail. The Careys were arrested after they were spotted wandering the street naked in the freezing cold with a 7-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy. The older child provided detectives with information that led investigators to the motel where the 6-year-old was discovered, police spokesman Sgt. John Quigley said ....
Exorcism Thriving in U.S., Say Experts (This 2001 CBS News report cites several cases of exorcisms in the US that have resulted in death)
The devil must be busier than ever in the new millennium. Exorcism, the ancient rite of casting out Satan and his demons from the souls of the possessed, is thriving in America and was long before recent revelations that Mother Teresa underwent one and Pope John Paul II performed them. "It is a big phenomenon," J. Gordon Melton, a Methodist minister who directs the Institute for the Study of American Religion, says of exorcisms in the United States. What many might consider an archaic and obscure rite has been front-page news this year. Last week, the Archbishop of Calcutta, Henry Sebastian D'Souza, announced that he ordered an exorcism performed on Mother Teresa before she died in 1997 ....
Seventeen year old girl suffocated to death by mother during attempt to "drive the demon out" (New York, 1998)
The Suffolk County District Attorney's office released a chilling first-person account today of the efforts of a Long Island woman to ''drive the demon'' from her 17-year-old daughter over a seven-hour period on Sunday that ended in the girl's death. The mother, Vivian Miranda, 39, was arraigned here today in the death of her daughter Charity Miranda Martin, who prosecutors said was suffocated with a plastic bag. Mrs. Miranda's 20-year-old daughter, Serena Miranda Martin, was also arraigned today and has been charged with holding Charity down while their mother suffocated her ....Five year old girl killed by mother and grandmother during exorcism in New York (1997)
The grandmother and mother of a missing 5-year-old were charged with fatally poisoning the girl, whose body was put out with the trash in front of their apartment building. One police official said the killing was an “exorcism.” Rosa Wilkerson, 46, and Angelic Burney, 25, were charged with second-degree murder for allegedly forcing Amy Burney to swallow a mixture of ammonia, vinegar, cayenne pepper and olive oil sometime around April 27, Deputy Police Commissioner Patrick Kelleher said Sunday at a news conference ....
Five year old girl beaten to death by her mother during exorcism in Los Angeles (1997)
Two Baldwin Park women were found guilty of murder Tuesday for helping to brutally paddle a 5-year-old girl to death in an effort to "rid her of the devil," closing what police and prosecutors called one of the most horrific child beating cases they have ever seen. A Los Angeles jury found Julia Ann Olivas, 36, and Esther Rebecca Griggs, 43, guilty of first-degree murder, felony child abuse and the use of a deadly weapon in the death of their friend's young daughter, Breeann Spickard. The two women, who face 26 years to life in prison, sat stone-faced as the verdicts were read ....
Related posts from this blog:
- The Kristy Bamu Murder in Context: Violent Exorcisms and Non-African Christians
- "Christianity is at fault here": Jean La Fontaine on the Kristy Bamu case
- The Origins of Pentecostalism: Azusa Street
- "And these signs shall follow them that believe": An overview of Pentecostalism
- "A new Frankenstein religion"??
- Christianity & the Invention of Child Witches in Africa
- Pentecostalism, Spiritual Warfare & The "Witch Children"