Jolyon Jenkins meets those who think the sick can be cured through the power of prayer. Could there possibly be anything in it? And what of those who are trying to raise the dead?
Jolyon Jenkins meets those who think the sick can be cured through the power of prayer. Could there possibly be anything in it? For over a century, people have been trying to prove it - or disprove it - through science, but firm results are elusive, and some scientists get cross at the whole idea. One study suggests that sick people might actually get worse if they discover they are being prayed for. But over the last 20 years, belief in the miraculous has been growing in Pentecostal circles, not least because miracles seem to be an effective way to gain new recruits. And the claims go far beyond any possible placebo effect: people are claiming to have received new gold teeth through prayer, to have had internal organs grow back after they have been surgically removed, and even to have raised people from the dead through prayer.
Producer: Jolyon Jenkins.
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So you want to be an exorcist?
Exorcists report rising demand for their services. According to the president of the American Association of Exorcists, "I get thousands of emails from people concerned that they may have been demonically possessed". A church of England vicar, a former official Diocesan Exorcist, agrees that demonic activity in the UK is on the up: "The word that comes to me is almost despair".
In this programme Jolyon Jenkins investigates this curious world, where witchcraft, levitations, ancestral curses, and demonic possession are matter-of-fact, everyday phenomena. He attends an exorcism in a hotel in Margate, and talks to practicing exorcists and those who are trying to train the next generation of practitioners.