Faith healing kills again: The pastor of a faith healing Christian congregation will stand trial in the preventable death of his 2-year-old granddaughter.
Roland Foster, a 72 year old Christian pastor who teaches his flock to reject modern medicine in favor of faith healing, is facing a felony charge of negligence after his young granddaughter died of treatable pneumonia.
Foster leads the Faith Tabernacle Congregation, a reclusive Christian sect in Pennsylvania that forbids members from visiting doctors or receiving any sort of medical care.
ABC reports Foster “will stand trial on a charge he should have alerted authorities when his 2-year-old granddaughter was dying of pneumonia last year.”
WFMZ reports Foster is facing “a third-degree felony charge of failing to report or refer an incident of child abuse when he was a mandatory reporter.”
The unfortunate child’s parents, Jonathan and Grace Foster, previously attributed the Nov. 8 death of their daughter, Ella Grace Foster, to “God’s will,” according to a police affidavit.
However, a routine course of antibiotics would have almost certainly saved the young girl’s life.
The parents were charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment earlier this year.
This is not the first time a child has died because of the dangerous faith healing practices taught in the church. In fact, the Faith Tabernacle Congregation is notorious for” faith based medical neglect.” ABC reports:
An advocacy group that tracks faith-based medical neglect says the church’s position has resulted in the deaths of dozens of children from preventable or treatable conditions.
And AP notes:
In Pennsylvania, at least 10 children whose parents belong to various branches of the fundamentalist sect have died of treatable illnesses in the last several decades. Several church members have been prosecuted for failing to seek medical care.
According to reports, Rowland Foster is currently free on bail; while Jonathan and Grace Foster are awaiting trial on involuntary manslaughter charges. The couple have surrendered their six other children to child services.
Bottom line: Faith healing kills. Children should not suffer for their parents ignorance and religious superstition. The justice system must protect children from faith healing parents and the clergy members who promote faith healing.