Exorcism is going multi-denominational. Where once those competing for the souls of followers would burn each other as heretics and engage in bloody wars, the world’s mainstream Christian denominations are now rallying together to battle a resurrected threat.
The Roman Catholic Church has for the first time opened up its annual exorcism class in Rome to representatives of all major Christian faiths. The Pontifical University of Regina Apostolorum is a Vatican-affiliated university in Rome that has been conducting the increasingly popular annual exorcism conventions for Catholic priests for the past 14 years.
But now the doors of the 14th Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation Course have been thrown open to groups once considered heretical and demon-infested only a few short centuries ago.
Now some 250 Catholics, Lutherans, Greek Orthodox and Protestant priests have assembled to arm themselves with the sword of the holy word to battle Satan amid the souls of their parishoners.
It is itself a dark art, born of a dark age.
The Catholic Church, however, insists demonic possession is on the rise.
In 2014, it formally recognised the ancient ritual of exorcism under Canon Law and gave official approval to the formal creation of the International Association of Exorcists.
It blames the secularisation of society (separation of religion and state) along with the increasing popularity of competing religions, tarot readings, astrology, the internet and atheism for opening the demonic floodgates.
And the best way to fix this, it believes, is to tackle the ‘possessed’ head-on.