Coots and his followers believe that God calls upon them to handle venomous serpents and to drink other poisons. Even if they are bitten, they will refuse medical treatment because they believe that they are worthy of God’s faith, and that their fate is in God’s hands.
Why do Pentecostal hold snakes?
“They see these acts as obedience to God,” said Ralph Hood, a professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, who has written extensively about the practice of serpent handling. “The motivation is belief in eternal life.
Do Pentecostals worship with snakes?
The tradition of snake-handling in some Pentecostal churches is almost as old as the movement. Today, it is practiced in independent congregations in rural Appalachia. Mainstream denominations reject the practice.
What religion believes in snake handling?
Christianity. Snake handling, also called serpent handling, is a religious rite observed in a small number of isolated churches, mostly in the United States, usually characterized as rural and part of the Holiness movement.
What is the purpose of snakes in church?
Snake handling as a religious ritual began in 1909 in Tennessee. Snakes, typically rattlers, are passed among the congregants for handling. Church elders sometimes patrol the church to ensure the snakes do not go beyond certain boundaries. Most participants are not bitten, but some have died from snakebites.
How many snake handlers have died?
Williamson said he has documented 91 snake bite deaths among serpent handlers since 1919; Between 350 and 400 people die from snake bites in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Do Pentecostals speak in tongues?
While all Pentecostals accept speaking in tongues as a “gift of the Holy Spirit,” these smaller, niche congregations aren’t afraid to embrace the practice and don’t care whether it scares some away, he said. Pentecostalism represents one of the fastest-growing segments of global Christianity.
What kind of snakes do Pentecostals use?
At just 22, he leads Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette, Tenn., a Pentecostal church that practices a rare, century-old Christian tradition of worshipping God with venomous snakes like timber rattlers, cottonmouths, and copperheads.
Are there still churches that handle snakes?
The most recent statistics in 2013, show that a figure of roughly 125 snake-handling churches can still be found in the United States from central Florida to West Virginia and as far west as Columbus, Ohio, as well as across the border in Edmonton and British Columbia.
Can Pentecostals wear pants?
In most cases, women must wear full length skirts or dresses at all times. … Some Apostolic Pentecostals churches allow women to wear some form of pants outside of church as long as they are specifically designed for women. Longer culottes pants are common casual attire for many Pentecostal women.
What religion is called holy rollers?
Holy Roller refers to Protestant Christian churchgoers in the holiness movement, such as Free Methodists and Wesleyan Methodists. Holy Rolling is sometimes used derisively by those outside these denominations, as if to describe people literally rolling on the floor in an uncontrolled manner.
Do Pentecostals drink strychnine?
The Church of God with Signs Following is a name applied to an informally organized group of Pentecostal churches, ministers, and itinerant evangelists popularly known as snake handlers, who are distinguished by their practice of drinking poison (usually strychnine) and handling poisonous serpents during their worship …
What gods are associated with snakes?
The Greek god most closely associated with snake worship is Apollo; the original name of Apollo’s temple at Delphi was Pytho, after the snake Python.
What are Pentecostal beliefs?
Pentecostalism is a form of Christianity that emphasises the work of the Holy Spirit and the direct experience of the presence of God by the believer. Pentecostals believe that faith must be powerfully experiential, and not something found merely through ritual or thinking. Pentecostalism is energetic and dynamic.