‘In the Hands of a Malign Force’: Priest Says Pandemic Led to Rise in Requests for Exorcisms

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A Catholic priest said he believes the COVID-19 pandemic is behind the rise in people asking for exorcisms.
During a recent interview with The Telegraph, Father Gian Matter Roggio, an Italian priest and trained exorcist said some people believe a supernatural force is behind the pandemic and it has taken over their lives. 
“We have seen an increase in the request for exorcisms because the pandemic has made people more vulnerable to the idea that Satan or some evil entity has taken over their lives,” Roggio told the newspaper. 
“People have fallen into poverty, they found themselves suffering from anxiety and depression. They feel that their lives are no longer in their own hands but in the hands of a malign force. It’s a big crisis,” he said. 
Catholic Online agreed with Roggio’s statement, noting, “The explanation makes sense. Satan and his demons prey upon people when they are most vulnerable. Those facing crisis, people who are desperate, are more likely to engage in behaviors that facilitate demonic possession. Those behaviors include sinful activities, including engaging in vices and dabbling in the occult. While many people turn to their faith in times of need, some turn away, blaming God for their difficulties
Father Luis Ramirez, who has organized training courses on exorcism within the Catholic Church, agreed with Roggio about the rising demand due to COVID-19 but explained priests are also helping churchgoers deal with mental problems as well. 
“During the pandemic, priests around the world have had more requests for psychiatric help from parishioners,” he said. 
As CBN News reported in 2020 at the outset of the worldwide pandemic, people were searching for hope and encouragement causing sales of copies of the Holy Bible to escalate. 
“We believe people are buying Bibles because there’s a longing to connect with God, find meaning, and experience peace,” Brian Chung, co-founder and business director of Alabaster Co in Los Angeles, Calif. told Fox News at the time. 
As CBN News reported last April, this spiritual hunger, also drove some to dabble in the occult as the use of tarot cards rose among Gen Z and millennials. 
The Religion News Service reports that some Christians and non-believers are turning to alternative or “New Age” beliefs for answers to their questions rather than relying on Bible-based beliefs. 
This includes an agreement with the eastern religious ideas of reincarnation, astrology, psychics, and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects like mountains.
During the dark oppression of the pandemic, the rise in tarot card use shows that some who are spiritual seekers are dabbling in more darkness instead of seeking the Light of the World for guidance and direction.
The Christian Perspective
But Scripture calls on Christians to obtain insight through reading God’s Word and engaging in intimate prayer time with Him. 
The Bible states that our primary source for gaining knowledge and wisdom comes from God’s sovereign Word to us. Handing our cares and concerns over to Him will lead to peace and hope that can only be found in God. 
In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
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