A BBC Panorama investigation reveals the leader of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) in the UK claims that epilepsy is a ‘spiritual problem’.
Ahead of tonight’s BBC Panorama programme investigating UCKG, Young Epilepsy is calling for a greater understanding and awareness of epilepsy across society, including faith communities.
BBC Panorama visited a UCKG youth group service in Brixton, south London, attended by young adults and teenagers. At a healing service secretly recorded by the BBC, Bishop James Marques - the leader of the UCKG in the UK - is reported to have told the congregation some sickness is a spiritual problem and mental health problems are linked to evil spirits.
He is also reported to have said, "We know that epilepsy is a medical condition, but in the Bible the Lord Jesus casts out an evil spirit that was causing epilepsy. So we can understand that epilepsy in reality is a spiritual problem that has a physical, visible manifestation."
Young Epilepsy, a charity that works with young people between 0-25 years old, has condemned the words of the UCKG leader.
We must continue to challenge the stigma surrounding epilepsy. For too long this condition has been the subject of misinformation and unfounded claims. Epilepsy is a serious medical condition that affects the lives of over 600,000 people in the UK, including 100,000 young people. Examples like this from UCKG need to be called out and peope in positions of power need to understand the true nature of conditions such as epilepsy, rather than perpetuating harmful falsehoods.
A representative from Young Epilepsy will contact UCKG to provide information about epilepsy and its impact on the lives of those living with the condition.
For the full story head to the BBC News article here: UCKG: Church pastor tells boy 'evil spirit' hides in him - BBC News