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How to Avoid Demonic Possession, According to an Exorcist


Fr. Jocis Syquia, director of the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Exorcism, says that Christians can exorcise their own homes.

IMAGE Strike Entertainment (The Last Exorcism)

Getting possessed is probably one of the most frightening things that can happen to a person, if horror movies like The Conjuring and the Exorcism of Emily Rose are anything to go by. And according to Fr. Jocis Syquia, director of the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Exorcism, the number of demoniacs in the Philippines has grown exponentially over the past decade. 

Fifteen years ago, he was the only exorcist in the Philippines, since cases of possession were quite rare. Today, the Archdiocese of Manila has difficulty meeting the demand for exorcisms, and Fr. Syquia sometimes finds himself doing three in one day. “Now all the bishops are appointing exorcists,” he says. “We have 94 members of the Philippine Association of Catholic Exorcists, which is supported by the CBCP. Right now there is a growing, alarming number of cases. Just [recently] we had a school with more than 50 possessed children. They had to be exorcised one by one.”

Fr. Syquia attributes this increase in cases of possession to people’s growing interest in the occult and New Age practices, along with a lack of knowledge about spiritual warfare among Catholics. So, how does one protect oneself against spiritual attacks? Here’s what you need to know.

Today, the Archdiocese of Manila has difficulty meeting the demand for exorcisms, and Fr. Syquia sometimes finds himself doing three in one day.

IMAGE Lakeshore Entertainment 

Types of Demonic Attack

Nobody just gets possessed out of nowhere. According to Fr. Syquia, demonic attacks usually begin with oppression and obsession, and increase in intensity until they turn into full-blown possession. The first attacks can be so subtle that people often aren’t aware of them.

Examples of oppression include when one suddenly experiences negative emotions while praying, or when memories are triggered that make one angry.

In his book Exorcism: Encounters with the Paranormal and the Occult, Fr. Syquia defines oppression as “burdens or afflictions that torment and which are wide ranging and diverse in nature. Oppression can affect one’s health, emotional and psychological well-being, spiritual life, relationships, and work. It would seem that these areas of one’s life deteriorate with no apparent cause. It is sad that sometimes people do not realize where their ‘bad luck’ is coming from and may even end up blaming God for their lot.”

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