As Parents Pray for Faith Healing, Children Die in Idaho


Vocativ explores a disturbing pattern in Idaho of the deaths of children of parents who believe in faith healing. Journalist Shane Dixon Kavanaugh contrasts Idaho with Oregon, which in 2011 enacted strict laws that eliminate religious-defense statutes often used by professed faith-healers. Since then, Oregon has successfully prosecuted three faith-healing cases, putting mothers and fathers in jail on charges of criminal mistreatment, negligent homicide and manslaughter.

Meanwhile, at least 12 children have died since 2011 in the care of faith-healing parents in Idaho, yet not a single charge has been filed. Idaho authorities do not investigate or prosecute faith-healing deaths, which occur largely without scrutiny from the public or media. Of the dozen documented cases in the last three years—and there are likely many more that have gone unreported—all were members of the Followers of Christ, a small Christian denomination that shuns medical care.

Comments are closed.