Pastor Luís B. performs the exorcism ritual on Veronica M. at the Church of the Divine Saviour on outskirts of Mexico City. A Mexican woman fights with demons during the exorcism ritual performed at the Church of the Divine Saviour on outskirts of Mexico City, Mexico.
Exorcism is an ancient religious technique of evicting spirits, generally called demons or evil, from a person which is believed to be possessed. A Mexican woman prays during the exorcism ritual practised at the Church of the Divine Saviour in of Mexico City, Mexico.
Pastor Hugo Alvarez performs the exorcism ritual on Carmen L. at the Church of the Divine Saviour on outskirts of Mexico City. Pastor Hugo Alvarez performs the exorcism ritual on a faithful at the Church of the Divine Saviour in Mexico City, Mexico.
In the Catholic Christianity, exorcism is performed by invoking Jesus Christ, God or different saints to intervene in favour of a possessed person. A Mexican girl prays during the exorcism ritual practised at the Church of the Divine Saviour in of Mexico City, Mexico.
All over Latin America, there are many Christian pastors and preachers (known as ‘exorcistas’) performing exorcism and prayers of liberation. A Mexican woman screams intensively during the exorcism rite practised at the Church of the Divine Saviour in of Mexico City, Mexico.
An exorcist may often use his strong charisma, together with religous formulas, symbols, icons or amulets, he commands the evil spirit to depart a victim's mind and body. Pastor Hugo Alvarez prepares the exorcism ritual on a follower of the Church of the Divine Saviour in Mexico City, Mexico.
A possessed person is not considered as the evil itself and nor wholly responsible for its, sometimes very violent and furious, behaviour. A Mexican woman yells desperately during the exorcism rite performed at the Church of the Divine Saviour in of Mexico City, Mexico.
Worshipping religious icons by a possessed person may be considered as idolatry. Exorcists often found the idols as the main source of the evil and home of demons. Pastor Hugo Alvarez breaks an idol during the exorcism ritual at the Church of the Divine Saviour in Mexico City, Mexico.
The whole process of exorcism takes several rituals and in some cases it may take long months to expulse a deeply entrenched demon. A Mexican man struggles during the exorcism ritual performed at the Church of the Divine Saviour on outskirts of Mexico City, Mexico.
The Christian Church of the Divine Saviour (“Iglesia Cristiana El Divino Salvador”), lying in a working class area of Mexico City. The interior of the Church of the Divine Saviour on outskirts of Mexico City, Mexico.
Some of the exorcists claim to be graced with special powers or skills that allow them to communicate and possibly fight the spiritual entities. A Mexican woman fights with demons during the exorcism ritual performed at the Church of the Divine Saviour on outskirts of Mexico City, Mexico.
Modern medicine tends to see the nature of the victim's affliction as a psychological or medical illness and therefore frequently marginalizes the symptoms as illusions or hallucinations. A Mexican woman struggles during the exorcism ritual performed at the Church of the Divine Saviour on outskirts of Mexico City, Mexico.
Pastor Hugo Alvarez is one of Mexico's foremost exorcists. According to his words, he has been performing exorcism rituals for more than 31 years. A Mexican pastor examines feet of a girl before the exorcism ritual at the Church of the Divine Saviour in Mexico City, Mexico.
Pastor Hugo Alvarez never doubts of what people say and feel is real and thus, those who failed during their desperate search for help in hospitals or family, usually end up in his church, hoping to find deliverance. A Mexican woman yells desperately during the exorcism rite performed at the Church of the Divine Saviour in of Mexico City, Mexico.

Exorcist

Mexico City, Mexico – May 2011

Exorcism is an ancient religious technique of evicting spirits, generally called demons or evil, from a person or a place which is believed to be possessed. This practice is a part of the belief system of many cultures and can be find throughout the world and ages, starting with animistic religions of the indigenous tribes in Amazonia and Africa, following by Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and ending with Christianity in the modern era.

Although the formal catholic rite of exorcism is rarely seen and must be only conducted by a priest named by the bishop, there are many Christian pastors and preachers all over Latin America (known as ‘exorcistas’) performing exorcism and prayers of liberation. Using especially their strong charisma, together with religous formulas, symbols, icons or amulets, they command the evil spirit to depart a victim's mind and body, usually invoking Jesus Christ or God to intervene in favour of a possessed person. Some of them claim to be graced with special skills that allow them to communicate and possibly fight the spiritual entities. Usually it takes several rituals to expulse a deeply entrenched demon.

Modern medicine tends to see the nature of the victim's affliction as a psychological or medical illness and therefore frequently marginalizes the symptoms as illusions or hallucinations. However, unlike the modern psychiatry, ‘exorcistas’ never doubt of what people say and feel is real and thus, those who failed during their desperate search for help in hospitals, family or elsewhere, usually end up with an exorcist, hoping to find deliverance.

Photography by Jan Sochor
Sound recorded by Jan Sochor