Portland exorcism: Archbishop prays away evil of social unrest

Special Reports

While you might start picturing heads spinning and demons soaring out of the city, that's not exactly what went down.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s “spooky season” and what’s spookier than an exorcism? 

Portland’s Archbishop Alexander Sample and his clergy prayed the rite of exorcism over Portland in downtown’s North Park Blocks last Saturday. 

While you might start picturing heads spinning and demons soaring out of the city, Sample said that’s not exactly what went down. 

“I wasn’t trying to suggest that I think the city of Portland is possessed. It’s not that at all. It’s just a prayer of blessing prayed by the clergy, especially a bishop over a community just asking that all the influences of the Evil One be driven away,” Sample said. 

The archbishop said he felt motivated to conduct the exorcism after witnessing months of protests in Portland and seeing several demonstrations turn violent. One man, Aaron Danielson, a supporter of the right-wing Patriot Prayer group, was killed near a pro-Trump rally and counter-protest on Aug. 29. Numerous demonstrators and police officers have been injured at other events. 

“We all know there’s been a lot of unrest and side by side with those legitimate and righteous and wonderful demonstrations,” Sample said. “We’ve seen this violence that has also erupted and… maybe distracted somewhat from the real issues of racial injustice.” 

Sample believes violence only creates greater division, something he fears Portland will experience more of after the upcoming election.

The archbishop said he considers this exorcism not just a prayer for the present, but also a wish for peace in the weeks to come. 

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