Spirit summoning is a booming industry in the UK, driven in part by the immigrant communities and Pentecostal churches, according to a report by a Christian think-tanks.
However, the vast majority of people are exorcised, have mental health problems, are in need of psychiatric help, says the report, which was released on Wednesday, the Theos.
The report calls for an analysis of “the burgeoning exorcism scene in the UK in the light of the concern, as it is used for and its possible negative consequences”.
It says the “amazing increase in the demand for” “in defiance” of the actual rules or procedures of the Church.” In the year 2012, in the Church of England’s new guidelines launched the “good practice of deliverance Ministry”.
The Theos report – Christianity and mental health: theology, activities, potential – (pdf) – does not reject the possibility of demonic possession. He says: “Certainly there is a biblical justification for the dangers of demonic forces, and to Jesus’ mission command to the disciples contains the explicit command to ‘demons’. However, there is also a need for serious caution.”
A danger Christian was “over-spiritual,” sing – to see a “tendency of all and every spiritual causes, if other medical can exist”. Another possible overlap between “demon possession” and mental health issues.
A Kaplan, who described himself as a “Bible-believing evangelicals,” said Ben Ryan, the author of the report, that “in all of your experience with the mental health trust that she had, ‘something never seen before, I would have to say that looked like the demonic possession, but I have said seen many people that have experienced something on the part of other Christians’.”
The report says: “One of the frustrations of doctors with Christians comes from accounts and anecdotes from people with medical questions of health from your medications, because you were told that the prayer is not enough, and falling as a result.
“This is a classic example of the well-intentioned initiative with the potential for serious damage. There is a danger of a kind of spiritual abuse – which can be understood as psychological abuse inflicted on the victim by members of their own religious group.”runs
Ryan told the Guardian that the exorcism was “the heavy end of a larger wedge. Some of the Christians, the treatment of mental health problems are sometimes, as if everything is spiritual. So, if someone says that a leader of the Church you are suffering from depression, sometimes the answer is that anything can be handled with a prayer. The extreme end, is exorcism.”
He said some of the charismatic and Pentecostal churches, particularly in areas with large West African communities, were advertising “healing” and exorcism outside of your premises.
“If the Church tells people that the problem is the demon in you, and you lead an exorcism, but you don’t get better – and in fact, it could be worse, believe they have overcome the demon that is a form of spiritual abuse.”
A C of E spokesman said: “Our rules state that special care must be exercised, especially if you are going to someone who is in distress or disturbed condition.”