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Christians warned on alternative therapies

Christians warned on alternative therapies

Author: Bess Twiston Davies
Publication: The Daily Telegraph (London)
Date: June 8, 2000

The Church of England has urged Christians to question the use of popular healing therapies such as reiki, shiatsu massage, and yoga.

A Time to Heal, a report published today, warns believers to avoid sources of healing which "may be likely to distract from or undermine a person's faith in Christ".

Christians are explicitly advised to shun reiki, a Tibetan Buddhist system of "energy" healing.

"The source of energy is not clearly defined, but the system is claimed to be holistic, leading to progress in one's spiritual life," the report says.

It also appeals for Christians to think carefully before using relaxation techniques such as yoga, which is derived from Hinduism, and the massage technique shiatsu, based on Shintoism.

The report also alleges that the philosophies behind many healing techniques clash with Christianity.

Paul Harris, a spokesman for the Evangelical Alliance, said yesterday "Some healing techniques appeal to forces outside God and so a Christian should nut them. I would suggest it would be better to appeal to God in prayer "

The General Synod's House of Bishops will consider the report and its recommendations are likely to be discussed at the next General Synod in July.

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