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Exorcism Sparks Religious Debate

Chairman of the Ethnic Relations Commission Bishop Juan Edghill although not wearing that hat, but that of a bishop‐ has taken on a senior official within the Office of the President with regard to religion. The issue arose after presidential advisor Prem Misir in a letter dated April 4th in the Kaieteur News stated that he personally has no difficulty if a Hindu by choice decides to become a Christian but do have a problem if a poor Hindu is persuaded through gifts and other means to change their faith. Misir was directing his statements to an issue involving 14 year old‐Sangeeta Persaud who allegedly died after an exorcism.

Bishop Edghill pointed out that this incident should not be used by anyone to propagate their faith since everyone has the freedom to embrace the religion of their choice. He said since the child’s death, the pastor has been prevented from going to the church to carry out his pastoral duties by villagers.

The argument being put forward by some members of the Hindu Community is that no one of their faith should be coerced into joining another religion.
According to media reports, the child grew up in the Hindu religion and lived in Canal Polder 1, where there are predominantly Hindus. However the child along with her mother and grandmother turned to the Christian faith some time ago.
Both the Child’s mother and the pastor of the church have refuted claims which surfaced in the media sometime ago, that the child died after an exorcism by the pastor and elders of the church. The post mortem performed on the child was inconclusive.

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