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Differences and Similarities between Exorcism and Deliverance.
male exorcist with bible and cross standing over demoniacal screaming girl in bed

Differences and Similarities between Exorcism and Deliverance.


Exorcism and Deliverance are two terms that are often used interchangeably but they refer to different practices. Both are believed to be used to drive out evil spirits or demons from individuals who have been possessed, but they differ in their approach and scope.

What is Exorcism

Exorcism is a practice commonly associated with the Catholic Church, but it is also used in other religious traditions such as Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism. Exorcism involves a formal ritual where a priest or a religious leader performs certain prayers and incantations to drive out the demon from the person who is possessed. The belief is that the demon has taken control of the person’s body and mind, and it must be expelled to restore the person’s health and well-being.

The practice of exorcism is still carried out today by various religious groups, particularly in the Christian faith, and is often a last resort for individuals who feel they are possessed by evil forces.

Who is an exorcist?

An exorcist is a religious figure who is authorized by their respective religious organization to perform exorcisms. In the Christian faith, the Catholic Church has a formal exorcism ritual that is carried out by a priest who has been trained in the practice. The Catholic Church has a special team of exorcists who are called upon to perform exorcisms in cases where individuals are believed to be possessed by demons or evil spirits.

However, not all exorcists are affiliated with the Catholic Church. In other Christian denominations, such as Pentecostalism, there are individuals who claim to have the gift of exorcism and who perform exorcisms as part of their ministry. Some non-Christian religions also practice exorcism, such as in Buddhism, where exorcism is performed to expel malevolent spirits and entities.

What is involved in an exorcism?

Exorcism is typically performed by a trained religious figure, who will first assess the individual to determine if they are indeed possessed. Signs of possession may include speaking in tongues, sudden personality changes, and unexplained physical manifestations such as convulsions or contortions. Once it has been determined that the individual is possessed, the exorcist will then perform a ritual that is designed to expel the demon or evil spirit from the person.

The exorcism ritual may involve prayer, the use of holy water or other religious symbols, and the reading of passages from religious texts. The ritual is often carried out over a period of several days, with the exorcist continuing to pray and perform the ritual until the demon or evil spirit has been expelled.

How to become an exorcist?

In the Catholic Church, becoming an exorcist requires extensive training and approval from the local bishop. The priest must first have a strong foundation in theology and must then receive specialized training in exorcism. The training involves studying the history of exorcism, learning the prayers and rituals involved in the exorcism process, and understanding the psychological and medical aspects of possession.

Outside of the Catholic Church, becoming an exorcist may vary depending on the religious organization. Some Pentecostal churches, for example, may train individuals who are believed to have the gift of exorcism, while other non-Christian religions may require different qualifications or training.

What is Deliverance

Deliverance, on the other hand, is a broader term that encompasses a range of practices used to free individuals from various forms of spiritual oppression. It is not limited to possession by demons, but it can also refer to other forms of spiritual bondage such as generational curses, witchcraft, and occult practices. Deliverance can be done by lay people, and it often involves prayer, counseling, and spiritual warfare.

Deliverance is the act of being set free from any kind of spiritual, emotional, or physical bondage. It is a process that is often carried out through prayer, fasting, and counseling. Deliverance is rooted in the belief that evil forces can take control of a person’s life, causing a range of problems that can only be solved through spiritual intervention.

Deliverance is usually sought out when a person is facing problems that seem to have no logical explanation, such as sudden mood changes, addiction, fear, depression, anxiety, nightmares, and other mental and physical problems. Some people believe that these problems are caused by demonic possession or influence and seek deliverance to break free from these negative forces.

The process of deliverance can be done in several ways, but it often involves a combination of prayer, fasting, and counseling. The person seeking deliverance will usually meet with a trained minister or counselor who will guide them through the process. The first step is to identify the root cause of the problem, which could be a past trauma, unforgiveness, or even generational curses. Once the root cause is identified, the person seeking deliverance will be encouraged to confess and renounce any sins or negative behaviors that may have contributed to the problem.

The next step in the deliverance process is prayer and fasting. The person seeking deliverance will be encouraged to spend time in prayer, asking God to intervene and break any strongholds in their life. Fasting is often recommended to help the person focus on spiritual matters and to deny the flesh, which is believed to weaken the hold of any negative forces.

During the deliverance session, the minister or counselor will lead the person in prayer, commanding any negative forces to leave in the name of Jesus. This is usually done in a loud and forceful manner, as it is believed that demons must be commanded to leave. The person seeking deliverance may also be encouraged to speak out any words of confession, renunciation, and affirmation, declaring their faith in God’s power to set them free.

The process of deliverance may take one session or several sessions, depending on the severity of the problem. After the deliverance session, the person seeking deliverance may be encouraged to continue praying and fasting, and to seek counseling to help them overcome any negative thoughts or behaviors that may have contributed to the problem.

While there are some similarities between Exorcism and Deliverance, they differ in their approach and scope. Exorcism is a more formal and ritualized practice that is typically performed by religious leaders who have received special training and authorization. Deliverance, on the other hand, is a more informal and personalized practice that can be done by anyone who is knowledgeable and experienced in spiritual warfare.

  1. Definition: Deliverance is the process of being set free from spiritual, emotional, or physical bondage through prayer, fasting, and counseling, while exorcism is the act of driving out a demon or evil spirit from a person, place, or object by using religious or spiritual authority.
  2. Scope: Deliverance is a broader term that can refer to any kind of spiritual or emotional struggle, while exorcism specifically refers to the casting out of demons or evil spirits.
  3. Approach: Deliverance often involves a more gentle approach, such as counseling and prayer, while exorcism tends to be more forceful and involves the use of specific prayers, holy water, and other religious items.
  4. Beliefs: Deliverance is generally based on the belief that demons can influence a person’s thoughts and emotions and cause negative behaviors, while exorcism is based on the belief that a person or object is possessed by a demonic entity.
  5. Formality: Exorcism is usually a formalized religious ceremony performed by a trained exorcist, while deliverance can be more informal and may involve counseling from a minister or spiritual advisor.
  6. Frequency: Deliverance may be needed multiple times for a person to fully recover, while exorcism is generally a one-time event.

One of the similarities between Exorcism and Deliverance is their belief in the power of prayer and the supernatural. Both practices rely on faith and spiritual discernment to identify the root cause of the spiritual oppression and to drive out the evil spirits. They also share the belief that the power to overcome evil comes from God and that the devil and his minions can be defeated through prayer and spiritual warfare.

Another similarity is their focus on the person who is experiencing the spiritual oppression. Both practices seek to restore the person’s health and well-being by freeing them from the grip of the evil spirits. They also recognize that the spiritual oppression may have a physical, emotional, and psychological impact on the person, and they seek to address these issues as part of the healing process.

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