An Analysis of Online Testimonies of Healing and Cure By Members of Nigerian Based Religious Bodies

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 09:40
Location: Hörsaal 32 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Aretha ASAKITIKPI, Osun State University, Nigeria
The role religion and spirituality have played in the health care terrain of Nigeria has become quite significant with the proliferation of churches and other religious bodies. Within the shores of Nigeria are some of the largest churches boasting of thousands of devoted followers. A major attraction to these religious bodies is the claim to be able to heal a variety of physical as well as spiritual ailments. The process of healing is quite varied and range from prayers, exorcism, ritual performances and the laying of hands to the use of water, oil and images.  Due to the diversity and large number of such religious bodies, a number of them have turned to the internet to create a sense of assurance (in order to increase the faith of their followers) and increase their credibility (for the sake of people outside the fold). Testimonies of healing posted on the internet by followers is presented as a confirmation of the power such religious bodies have to heal the body and the spirit. This paper takes a look at this phenomenon through an analysis of online testimonial claims of healing. Through qualitative research methods, the paper analyses emergent themes with the aim of interrogating the claims of the healing and curing process.