Singapore’s Exorcism Trial

On 24 October 2007, a case involving an alleged exorcism headed for trial, in what is a landmark case, full of controversies and courtroom drama.Two priests, the Novena Church and seven church choir members were sued for allegedly forcing a rite of exorcism on Amutha Valli on 10 August 2004. The defence lawyers are alleging that the plaintiff has hatched up a scam for compensation of at least a quarter of a million dollars.

Amutha had gone to Novena Church to pray with her son, daughter and sworn brother. She allegedly fainted while praying.

Defence lawyers said Amutha “slithered like a snake, rattled on the grilles, and marched like a soldier on command of her sworn brother” – a sight that frightened many who were in the church at that time.

Among the issues of contention is whether her family members were the ones who said she was possessed and needed a rite of exorcism.

Amutha and her family are claiming that they did not give consent to the “exorcism” and that the priests had conducted the rite against her will.

The plaintiff also claimed she was physically abused and was traumatised after the two-and-half-hour session.

The church, on the other hand, said what it did was just a prayer, not a rite of exorcism. They had stepped in to restrain the woman as she had apparently turned violent and started strangling herself.

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