• News

  • News

  • A righteous path: mass exorcisms performed in Ethiopia – in pictures Posted on 18 May 2015

    Many of those attending the ceremony come to be blessed, but there are also those seeking cures for physical ailments. Please note some images contain nudity!

    Before dawn, a deacon leads the way to the exorcism site of Tchana Durga Gedes Arsema, where devotees will be led en masseBefore dawn, a deacon leads the way to the exorcism site of Tchana Durga Gedes Arsema, where devotees will be led en masse

    A girl is made to chant saint’s names while being struck with a cross. According to an Ethiopian myth, Eve attempted to hide her children from god, and whilst some were forgiven and remained people, others were turned into animals and the remainder were punished by being made agents of the devil. The descendents of these last group are known as ‘Buda’. A girl is made to chant saint’s names while being struck with a cross. According to an Ethiopian myth, Eve attempted to hide her children from god, and whilst some were forgiven and remained people, others were turned into animals and the remainder were punished by being made agents of the devil. The descendents of these last group are known as ‘Buda’.

      A girl is made to chant saint’s names while being struck with a cross. According to an Ethiopian myth, Eve attempted to hide her children from god, and whilst some were forgiven and remained people, others were turned into animals and the remainder were punished by being made agents of the devil. The descendents of these last group are known as ‘Buda

    A priest holding a cross throws buckets of water over a group of men. Holy water is believed by many in the group to cure diseases including HIV and cancerA priest holding a cross throws buckets of water over a group of men. Holy water is believed by many in the group to cure diseases including HIV and cancer

    A priest blesses a boy with water and a cross. The pilgrims have to be naked throughout the ceremony, but most wear a small wooden cross around their neck as a sign of faithA priest blesses a boy with water and a cross. The pilgrims have to be naked throughout the ceremony, but most wear a small wooden cross around their neck as a sign of faith.

    Women being showered with holy water. During the ceremony men and women are generally kept apart, although all ritual activities are performed by male priestsWomen being showered with holy water. During the ceremony men and women are generally kept apart, although all ritual activities are performed by male priests.

    An elderly woman is drenched with holy water. All age groups attend these ceremonies. Their popularity is increasing, partly due to increased exposure in the media and on the internetAn elderly woman is drenched with holy water. All age groups attend these ceremonies. Their popularity is increasing, partly due to increased exposure in the media and on the internet.

    A young pilgrim is held as he is sprayed with water and blessed with the cross before the rock wall that acts as a dam, creating a waterfall of holy waterA young pilgrim is held as he is sprayed with water and blessed with the cross before the rock wall that acts as a dam, creating a waterfall of holy water.

    A group of women are sprayed by the priest and blessed with the cross, after being guided to the spring along the small stream bedA group of women are sprayed by the priest and blessed with the cross, after being guided to the spring along the small stream bed

    A  girl is sprayed and struck with a cross by the priest. Exorcism rituals may be linked to tribal religions that pre-date the arrival of Christianity in Ethiopia

     

    « Back to news archive