Just when you think the news cannot possibly get more bizarre, more surreal, and more WTF?!, you run across a story like this one and realize that it most certainly can.
On December 9, a woman was killed by other family members who attempted to exorcise a demon they believed was in possession of the woman. The performed the exorcism inside a hotel room in Frankfurt, Germany.
Keep in mind, this is not the plot from a movie. It’s all too real.
Police and prosecutors maintain that the deceased woman was subjected to at least two hours of “pain and agony” before she succumbed to asphyxiation and traumatic injuries as a result of the exorcism ritual.
Authorities also allege that the woman’s family exerted “massive force on her chest and stomach area,” along with an extreme amount of “violence to her neck.” A towel and a clothes hanger were reportedly shoved down the woman’s throat, to prevent her from screaming.
The family members charged with the killing include a 44-year-old female relative, along with the relative’s children, a 21-year-old son, 19-year-old daughter. and 15-year-old son.
After they had killed the unnamed woman, the family called a priest instead of notifying police. That priest notified police, who found the woman’s lifeless body in a room at the Frankfurt InterContinental hotel.
Additionally, investigators also found of another 41-year-old woman in a garage. She was treated for hypothermia and dehydration.
The family, which had immigrated to Germany from South Korea, are members of a Charismatic Christian church which is popular with some South Koreans. The practice of exorcising demons, known as anchal-gido in the South Korean church, is described in the International Journal of Religion and Spirituality:
“Anchal gido rituals are their own kind of abuse, since they often involve forms of physical violence against those deemed to be possessed. The intensity of the healing prayers for cleansing demonic spirits…also often accompanies intense physical contact in the belief that physical assaults intimidate and assist to expel demons. Thus, the healing ritual may well become so intense as to involve physical striking, beating, poling, or choking the possessed individual, though each action is viewed by the healers as attacking the demon, not the person. There is a similarity between Korean exorcism and shamanic rituals, but the latter often lacks the violence and is more about appeasing unfriendly nature or ancestral spirits than outright spiritual warfare.”
And now, thanks to the misguided beliefs of a family, one woman is dead and another remains in the hospital.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.