CASTING OUT THE DEVIL Shocking pictures show mass exorcism in Ethiopia where 150 people paid a month’s wages for priest to ‘banish their demons’
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″]Hundreds of people paid vast sums to take part in an exorcism in Ethiopia where the Orthodox church still holds a strong power over worshippers[/perfectpullquote]
SHOCKING pictures show hundreds of people taking part in a a mass exorcism to “banish demons” in Ethiopia – and paying up to one month’s salary for the privilege.
Up to 150 people waited in line at Yerer Selassie church near the capital Addis Ababa to have the exorcism ritual performed on them by Ethiopian Orthodox priest Memehir Girma Wedimu.
(thesun)-A man gets sprayed with holy water as part of the exorcismPictures taken by Czech photographer David Tesinsky, 28, show people being held in place as they scream when holy water is sprayed on them or a cross is placed on their forehead.
Other striking shots show a woman’s face being held as she lets out a loud shout, a priest touch a young man’s head during the ritual and hundreds of people being sprayed with holy water at once.
Tesinsky said: “People were crying, screaming and Memehir was punching them.
“Memehir was rejected by all other churches because he earned more money than the church itself.
“He kept asking for money – I saw one very old woman give him $100 (£76) to ‘expel’ her of demons and he still wanted more, even though $100 was most likely all she could earn in one month.
“These exorcism rituals are usually performed if someone is not responding to modern medicine or if they are misbehaving, as it is thought they are possessed by a ‘demon spirit’ or ‘buda’.
“They must be performed by a local priest.”
The Ethiopian Orthodox church was considered the state church until the fall of Haile Selassie in 1974.
In many villages, the people have lived in fear of certain curses and demonic powers that have kept them in bondage and terror for generations.
According to a 2010 Pew Research Center study, 74 percent of Christians in Ethiopia claim to have experienced or witnessed an exorcism.
“Demon-possessed” persons are brought to a church or prayer meeting.
Often, when an ill person has not responded to modern medical treatment, the affliction is attributed to demons.
A woman takes part in the exorcism in Ethiopia
Exorcisms are not an unusual event in the African country
Belief in the ‘evil eye’ is still widespread in the country