faith healing (Christian)


faith healing (Christian)
Faith healing is supernatural healing (yibing) from physical ailments, usually through intercessory prayer, charismatic rituals or individual psychological release through conversion. Practised in various forms by China’s Protestants, faith healings are particularly common among rural populations, accounting for up to 90 per cent of all conversions to Christianity in rural areas. The practice of faith healing traces its roots in part to traditional Chinese religion, and in part to the charismatic practices introduced by American Pentecostal missionaries in the early twentieth century which fuelled much of Protestantism’s growth in China before 1949.
The most common form of faith healing occurs through intercessory prayer. Church members often pray for those who are ill, petitioning God to heal them. Such prayer does not usually require any special healing charisma or ecclesial status, but can be practised by any believer or group of believers. In rural areas, church congregations often organize teams of members to visit the community’s ill. They typically read Bible verses, sing hymns and pray for God to heal them. Intercessory prayer is often combined with other charismatic rituals such as the laying on of hands.
Church members will place their hands on the infirm person’s head and shoulders, praying simultaneously and aloud, creating an electric environment that comes alive with faith and the expectation of healing. These practices often result in an alleviation of symptoms in the ill person. Healing also often appears to occur from psychological release. Many converts claim that long-standing ailments such as perpetual migraines, digestion problems, partial blindness, fainting spells, and so forth, cease after conversion. In other cases, the afflicted convert responds as a result of the love and concern expressed by the church members, irrespective of any change in their physical illness.
Pursuant to the state’s opposition to ‘superstitious’ practices, leaders in the official Protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and China Christian Council deride faith healings among China’s Protestants as evidence of believers’ ‘low quality of faith’ (see wenhua shuiping). The gulf between the official position and grassroots congregations is one of many sources of division between the Chinese Church’s official bearers and the church body.
Währisch-Oblau, C. (1999). ‘Healing Prayers and Healing Testimonies in Mainland Chinese Churches: An Attempt at Intercultural Understanding’. China Study Journal 14. 2:5–21.
JASON KINDOPP

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Faith healing — Faith healer redirects here. For the play by Brian Friel, see Faith Healer. Faith healing is healing through spiritual means. The healing of a person is brought about by religious faith through prayer and/or rituals that, according to adherents,… …   Wikipedia

  • faith healing — faith healer. 1. healing effected through prayer or religious faith; divine healing. 2. a method employing faith or prayer in the hope of receiving such healing. [1880 85] * * * Curing of an illness or disability by recourse to divine power,… …   Universalium

  • faith healing — The restoration, or attempted restoration, of health by prayer and religious faith. 41 Am J1st Phys & S § 30. See Christian Science …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Cults: Faith, Healing and Coercion —   …   Wikipedia

  • Christian Science —    Christian Science was founded in the USA in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910). About one third of its 3,000 worldwide congregations are based outside the United States. It is popularly best known for its commitment to faith healing and its… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture

  • CHRISTIAN SCIENCE CHURCH — CHRISTIAN SCIENCE CHURCH, a Christian sect, organized in 1879 by Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy. It is maintained that Christian Science attracted thousands of American Jews, particularly Jewesses, seeking health and peace of mind through its religio… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Christian Science — Not to be confused with other religious movements including Religious Science and Scientology, or with the relationship between religion and science. Part of a series on Christianity …   Wikipedia

  • Christian theology — The Prophetess Anna, Rembrandt, 1631 See also: History of Christian theology and Outline of Christian theology Christian doctrine redirects here. For the United States Court case known by that name, see G.L. Christian and associates v. US.… …   Wikipedia

  • Christian Science — a system of religious teaching, founded in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy and based on the Scriptures, the most notable application of which is the practice of spiritual healing. [1860 65, Amer.] * * * officially Church of Christ, Scientist Religious… …   Universalium

  • Christian Catholic Apostolic Church — Christ Community Church in Zion, Illinois, formerly the Christian Catholic Church or Christian Catholic Apostolic Church, is an evangelical Protestant church founded in 1896 by John Alexander Dowie. The city of Zion was founded by Dowie as a… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.