Many of us pray for guidance, understanding and healing. But what happens when we misread God’s way of working in our lives? For some, this can have deadly consequences.
According to Sky News, at least six people infected with HIV died after they were told by their evangelical pastors that they were healed and no longer needed to take their medication. During an undercover report, several pastors in Britain and Scotland told reporters that they could be healed of several diseases, including HIV, through a “exorcism-like” ritual.
The New York Daily News reports:
A pastor at the Synagogue Church of all Nations (SCOAN), a wealthy televangelist organization with branches throughout the world, told one undercover reporter – who actually is HIV positive – that they had a 100% success rate.
“We have many people that contract HIV. All are healed,” Holmes said.
Holmes even said that if symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea persist, it’s a good sign that the virus is leaving the body.
“We’ve had people come back before saying, ‘Oh, I’m not healed. The diarrhea I had when I had HIV, I’ve got it again'” Holmes said.
“I have to stop them and say, ‘No, please, you are free.'”
Unfortunately for those who died, they weren’t free of the disease.
These types of religious practices aren’t limited to the UK. Many churches around the world claim they can heal their parishioners through the power of prayer, but few do so to the exclusion of medical intervention.
While many Christians believe God can heal them, they also know that God created doctors for a reason. Unfortunately for the members of these churches, they learned the truth too late.