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Tuesday, January 4, 2011
One of the earliest mentions of exorcisms comes from the Bible, although in all cultures the removal of evil through ritual exists.
The Roman Catholic Church is the most well known institution that uses exorcists. Pope Cornelius wrote in the third century that the then Roman Church had fifty-two exorcists, which is similar in number to those employed by the church today.
There is a lot of misconception about what exorcism really is. The exorcist performs a religious rite called “The Roman Rite” and is used to drive Satan or evil spirits out of a possessed person, place or object. The ritual involves using holy water, prayers and relics.
Many cultures around the world perform similar rites. In China, a form of exorcism and potentially dangerous rite, called the Wutu Ritual, is normally performed by young men. It involves a trance medium and the construction of a mountain god altar. Seven men are painted with symbols of various gods and the rite is performed. This is repeated every year to stop evil returning.
FACT FILE At least one death per year in America is attributed to the performance of an exorcism