Palin blessed by pastor to protect her from 'witchcraft'

Palin blessed by pastor to protect her from 'witchcraft'

US vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin is seen being blessed in church by a pastor praying for her protection from “witchcraft” in a video that appeared on YouTube.

The video shows Republican candidate Ms Palin standing before Kenyan bishop Thomas Muthee at the front of the Wasilla Assembly of God church, in Alaska, holding her hands open as he asked Jesus Christ to keep her safe from “every form of witchcraft”.

Mr Muthee said, as two attendants placed their hands on Ms Palin’s shoulders: “Come on, talk to God about this woman. We declare, save her from Satan.

“Make her way my God. Bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus ... Use her to turn this nation the other way around.”

The video was made three years ago. Ms Palin filed campaign papers a few months later, in October 2005, and was elected governor the next year.

Ms Palin does not say anything on the video and keeps her head bowed throughout the blessing.

She was baptised at the church but stopped attending regularly in 2002.

A spokesman for John McCain’s presidential campaign declined to comment.

Ms Palin was baptised as a Catholic as a baby.

The Wasilla Assembly of God church is Pentecostal, and members of the Christian church are conservative in their reading of the Bible.

Unlike most other Christians – including most evangelicals – Pentecostals believe in “baptism in the Holy Spirit”.

That can manifest itself through speaking in tongues, modern-day prophecy and faith healing, which includes the laying on of hands.

Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign, has said Ms Palin attends different churches and does not consider herself Pentecostal.

On a visit to the church in June this year, Ms Palin spoke fondly of the Kenyan pastor and told a group of young missionaries that Mr Muthee’s prayers had helped her to become governor.

She said: “Pastor Muthee was here and he was praying over me, and you know how he speaks and he’s so bold.

“And he was praying ’Lord make a way, Lord make a way’ ... He said ’Lord make a way and let her do this next step’. And that’s exactly what happened.”

The Rev Zipporah Ndiritu, who studied under Mr Muthee in the Kenya-based Word of Faith Church, said the bishop is revered among evangelicals there. She said church doctrine focuses on ridding the world of demons and witches.

“Even in the days of Jesus Christ, according to the Bible there were witches who were manifesting through demonic forces,” she said. “You can seek from the Lord, and if you find demonic forces you cast them out.”

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