A jury trial has begun in France against 4 members of the church of Seventh-day Adventists.
They are accused of performing an exorcism on a girl from Cameroon, that had been possessed by the Devil. In 2011, the group kidnapped the 19 year-old and locked her in an apartment in the Paris suburb of Grini.
The 3 men and 1 woman, that snatched the girl, tied her to a cross and throughout a period of 7 days, conducted rituals to purge the Devil because they believed that he had possessed her body and soul.
When the young girl was found by police, her body had shown signs of battery. According to her, the exorcists had only given her water and some butter during the week of her captivity.
The prosecution found out that the Devil exorcism ritual was the idea of the girl's former boyfriend - Eric Deron, who thought of himself as a prophet on a holy mission.
The group of exorcists had arrived in France from the Antilles. The Cameroon girl had known her captors from the church of Seventh-day Adventists. According to the lawyer of the accused, the girl had only seeked their help because she was convinced that the Devil had possessed her.
The church of Seventh-day Adventists denied any wrongdoing related to the acts of the group of 4, making it quite clear that it does not approve of exorcisms of any form.
A few years ago, a Romanian priest murdered a nun after a brutal ritual, designed to banish the Devil from her. The 23 year-old lay sister was stretched out on a cross with her mouth gagged and left for 3 days without food and water in a cold monastery cell.
Residents of the monastery supported the ritual carried out by 29 year-old father Daniel, because they too believed that Maricica Irina Cornici was possessed.
The priest and 4 nuns from the "Holy Trinity" nunnery were charged and convicted to life imprisonment.
Cornici's body was found crucified on a cross. Medical professionals explained that she had died of suffocation. Witnesses claim that Maricica suffered from schizophrenia, which likely led the father and nuns to believe that she was possessed by the Devil.