Category: Faith Healing

Faith healing refers to healing that occurs supernaturally, as the result of prayer rather than the use of medicines or the involvement of physicians or other conventional medical care. Such healings are often referred to as miracles.

The term is best known in connection with Christianity, but is also used in other religions. It is further used in relation to such occult, New Age healing techniques as Reiki.

Some individuals, groups or churches have extremist teachings and practices regarding faith healing — often resulting in needless deaths. Many such instances are related in this news archive.

Research resources on faith healing

Faith healing couple probed in second child’s death

A faith healing couple who are members of a church that shuns doctors and medicine have lost a second child.

Convicted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment, two years ago the couple were sentenced to probation under the stipulation that they schedule regular medical appointments for all their children.

Faith healer convicted in girl’s faith healing death was a hypocrite

The late Ariel Ben Sherman was charged in a teen girl’s faith healing death, but he sought medical treatment for his own conditions.

Even after his death legal arguments in the case continue: still up before the appellate court to decide is whether the state’s spiritual exemption law that allows parents to forego medical treatment in favor of faith healing is in violation of the U.S. Constitution and its equal protection guarantees.

Lawyers ask Wisconsin Supreme Court to rule in faith healing death

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is hearing the case of Leilani and Dale Neumann, who in separate trials were convicted of second-degree reckless homicide in their daughter’s faith healing death.

The case poses questions for the justices about when the state’s responsibility to protect children trumps religious freedom.

Parents plead guilty in faith healing death; sentenced to probation

Russel and Brandi Bellew A couple charged with manslaughter in the faith-healing death of their 16-year old son, Austin Sprout, were sentenced to five years probation.

Russel and Brandi Bellow are members of the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn — part a network of churches that have extremist teachings on the subject of faith healing.

Couple’s plea means no appeal of Christian Science faith healing ruling

Christian Science A recent ruling upholding a Washington state law that allows faith healing for Christian Scientists but not other religions will go unchallenged after a couple on trial in the faith healing death of their son accepted a plea.

The religious movement, considered by Christians to be a cult of Christianity, has been able to negotiate exemptions to the health laws in a number of states.

Faith-healing couple takes plea in son’s death

Gregory and Garnet JaLea Swezey A north-central Washington couple on Thursday agreed to accept a plea deal that spares them jail time but holds them responsible for their teenage son’s death after they failed to call a doctor.

JaLea and Greg Swezey are members of the Church of the First Born, a group of churches whose extreme, unbiblical teachings regarding faith healing has resulted in the needless loss of life.