LCI member Carol Tomlin, an academic and Pentecostal Christian, is interviewed by Professor Robert Beckford on the BBC World Service programme Heart and Soul on How Pentecostal Christians pray through the pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, the message of healing encouraged in Pentecostal churches has helped many believers get through the worst of times. But where does the faith’s emphasis on healing come from? Members of this church draw on passages in the Bible which talk of healing, as well as historical influences from African traditional religion which reaffirm their faith in God’s ability to protect and perform miracles. Many churches offered prayers for divine protection over individuals and the nation – but in a some cases, groups went further than offering prayers and promoted the sale of special protection kits, “guaranteed to ward off coronavirus.” Tragically, some believers in Britain, believing God that was protecting them, didn’t seek medical help when they were sick and passed away. Carol explains the roots of these beliefs.