- Reports from Nicaragua indicate that a woman has passed away after a pastor and his congregation pushed her onto a bonfire during an exorcism to rid her of demons
- The pastor and the members of the congregation however dispute that they pushed her, insisting that she jumped into the fire on her own
- Police have arrested the accused and are treating the incident as a murder case
A 25-year-old Nicaraguan woman has passed away after a pastor and his congregation reportedly stripped her, tied her up and pushed her into a bonfire during an exorcism to rid her of demons.
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Vilma Trujillo Garcia, who was a mother of two, sustained first degree burns on 80 percent of her body and sadly passed away on Tuesday, five days after the alleged exorcism.
Vilma's husband, 35-year-old Reynaldo Peralta Rodriguez, claimed that the pastor and the congregation were responsible for his wife's death.
Reynaldo, speaking to local media, said: "My wife spent eight days [as a] prisoner in that congregation and her sister told me that...they pushed her on the flames. I don’t think my wife was possessed at all. What they did to her was witchcraft."
However, the pastor, 23-year-old Rocha Romero, disputed this and insisted that Vilma threw herself onto the bonfire to get rid of the "demons" that were allegedly causing her distress.
Some members of his congregation at the Assemblies of God Church in El-Cortezal, northeastern Nicaragua, supported his version of events. They said that it was Vilma who requested them to start the fire and that they were praying when they suddenly noticed that she had thrown herself into the flames.
Police arrested the pastor and four members of the congregation and said that they were treating the incident as a case of murder. They also said their investigations revealed that Vilma had been held prisoner for some time before the "exorcism."
For visuals of a news report covering the incident, see video below (in Spanish).