In Idaho, parents who are members of the Followers of Christ Church, a Christian denomination opposed to medicine and considered a cult, are not prosecuted when their children die for lack of medical care. Each year, several children of worshipers die in this American state, where members of the community simply pray for healing. An organization fighting for legislative change organized a discussion a few days ago.
As a child, Linda Martin met her friends at church on a Sunday and could learn of the death of one or the other the following Sunday. At age 68, she's still tracking the number of child deaths in Idaho, although she left the Followers of Christ Church and lives in Oregon. Some of his cousins died shortly after birth, one of his nephews died of pneumonia at the age of two. The Christian Post, who denounces an “infamous religious group”, emphasizes that the causes of death range from food poisoning to heart defects: in all circumstances, care is denied to children.
The Followers of Christ Church was founded in the early XNUMXth century by Walter White who ruled it as a tyrant. It is leaderless today and includes congregations in Idaho, Oregon and Oklahoma.
A law protecting religious freedom and parental rights at the expense of child safety
A 1972 law guarantees impunity to parents who refuse to resort to medicine to treat their children. Created in 2003, the organization Protect Idaho kids has led campaigns to warn of the danger of this text motivated by respect for religious freedom as well as respect for parental authority.
On his site, the association presents videos Protestant pastors, a former assistant prosecutor and a doctor reminding us that children have the right to live.
On January 11, Protect Idaho kids organized a roundtable in which participated a former president of the Supreme Court of the State, the wife of a former governor or the sheriff of Canyon county, Kieran Donahue, who continues to denounce the law. It is in his county that we find the most communities of the Followers of Christ Church.
The speakers assured that their aim was not to criminalize prayers for healing or the exercise of faith, but to obtain the removal of the healthcare exemption. Donahue stressed the need for equality of all before the law.
More than 200 children have died in Idaho from lack of care since 1972. According to coroner's reports, eight children have died in Canyon County since early 2020, including those stillborn.