The world’s first aerial exorcism will reportedly take place this weekend in Buenaventura, Colombia.
Monsignor Rubén Darío Jaramillo Montoya, the bishop of Buenaventura, will sprinkle holy water and say prayers from a navy helicopter during the Sunday feast of St. Bonaventure, The Guardian reported Wednesday. Montoya hopes to exorcise the city of its demons, responsible for the crime and corruption that plagues it.
“We want to go around the whole of Buenaventura from the air and pour holy water onto it … to see if we exorcise all those demons that are destroying our port,” His Excellency told a local radio station. “So that God’s blessing comes and gets rid of all the wickedness that is in our streets.” (RELATED: Exorcists And Demons Clash In A Supernatural Showdown For The Fate Of Souls)
A 2014 report from Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental organization, named Buenaventura one of Colombia’s most dangerous cities, with violence compelling thousands of residents to flee annually. Paramilitary groups in the city are infamous for dismembering people in so-called “chop-up houses” and then dumping them into the sea.
Montoya announced the exorcism after the gruesome discovery of the body of a ten-year-old girl. She had been tortured and murdered by her uncle.
“In Buenaventura we have to get rid of the devil to see if we can return the tranquillity that the city has lost with so many crimes, acts of corruption and so much evil and drug trafficking,” the bishop said. (RELATED: Vatican Trains More Exorcists To Combat Rising Demonic Crisis)
In 2014, then-Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos sent troops to stabilize the area, and three years later Buenaventura became a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, a group dedicated to fostering local cultural life and sustainable urban development. Criminal groups still control parts of the city, but its murder rate is now below the national average.
The mass exorcism will be performed amid surging worldwide demand for the ritual. The International Association of Exorcists has called the rising number of possession claims a “pastoral emergency,” and the Vatican held exorcism training courses in April 2018 to combat a shortage of trained priests.