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Fake faith healers

The shocking incident of a spiritual healer who allegedly hammered a nail into a pregnant woman has now made international headlines. A manhunt is underway but no clue is being made over the fake faith healer or even the identity of the victim.

The woman arrived at a hospital in Peshawar after trying to extract a nail from her skull. She eventually revealed a faith healer carried out the act after claiming it would guarantee the birth of a son. The mother to three daughters claimed her husband threatened to leave her if she gave birth to another girl. She eventually went to the faith healer after hearing about the bizarre practice.

In many countries including Pakistan, a son is preferred over a daughter as they are considered to provide financial stability to their families. This gives rise to exploitative practices from so-called faith healers, who are common in rural areas. Their bizarre practices in the name of spirituality go unchecked and are even prohibited under religious injunctions.

Women are the worst victims of these healers who befool into believing them. There have been countless cases of torture, abuse, and sexual exploitation by quacks and faith healers. They are also responsible for swindling women by telling fabricated stories and falsehoods. They often claim to possess knowledge of exorcism and resolve love, marriage, and domestic issues. But usually end up extorting hefty amounts and exploiting innocent people.

The patriarchal society which gives preference to male offspring is also responsible for resorting to fake healers. The lack of healthcare facilities often compels many people to seek alternate treatments. Illiteracy and ignorance are the biggest that people seek guidance from them.

Many victims have also revealed being sexually abused and blackmailed by faith healers. These people work with impunity as there has never been a heavy-handed crackdown against them. Authorities and police need to take serious notice and launch a vigorous crackdown so the lives of innocent people can be safeguarded.

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