In the past two years, members of a small church in Oregon City have been the subject of national media attention — and prosecution. Followers of Christ church doesn’t believe in using medicine to cure ailments, and instead rely on ritual and prayer. Think Out Loud has been following cases involving the church since it first made headlines in 2008, after a toddler whose parents belonged to the church died of pneuomonia. Only three months later, the toddler’s teenaged uncle died from an easily treatable illness. In light of these cases, as well as one where a toddler almost went blind, Oregon passed a law removing any religious defense for parents who treat their children solely with prayer. The most recent controversy involves a newborn baby who died hours after birth due to a bacterial infection in his lungs. Dale and Shannon Hickman have been charged with second-degree manslaughter for the death of their son. The Hickman trial is set for this week.
Have you or anyone you know used prayer as a way to cure ailments? What’s the role of prayer in your life?