Portland Oregon news station investigates faith healing deaths of children whose parents were members of the Followers of Christ church in Idaho. The same church community occupies Oregon City where dozens deaths were caused because the members fail to seek modern medical attention.
Peaceful Valley Cemetery sits on a windswept hill 30 miles east of Boise.
Some of The Followers of Christ faith healers bury their dead there.
A former member of the Followers of Christ advised [the reporter] to go to Peaceful Valley and look for two specific names.
He found them. He found many more.
“It’s inexplicable to me to comprehend how anyone can watch a child die and do nothing”
This very disturbing story has been uncovered slowly over the past several years as some church members have left or have spoken to officials and the media about the lifestyle that promotes family, faith and community over common medical treatments. The result? More children die in childbirth or shortly after. Children die from preventable conditions and young people go untreated for medical complications that cost them bouts of pain, suffering and ultimately death.
When a child dies in Idaho due to lack of medical care, the parents aren’t breaking any laws. This is due to what’s called a religious shield law that protects the parents who are acting out of religious faith. It’s wrong, it’s barbaric and the courts struggle with the test of individual rights (of the child) over religious rights of the parents. It’s clear to most people what the outcome of these cases should be. Sadly, it DOES mean parents must go to jail for these incidents in order to reinforce the idea that you CAN NOT hang on to outdated beliefs when it means harm to innocent others.
I reviewed the latest book about the Followers community in Oregon City, In the Name of God. It explains the inside workings of the community and the fight to overturn religious shield laws. You can read the review here. I recommended the book as an eye-opening account of this backwards community living in a modern world. Buy it through our site:
There is currently no move to change laws in Idaho as they have been changed in Oregon resulting in some parents receiving jail time.