BELIZE CITY. Mon. July 19, 2021– Last week, a video surfaced on social media that showed various Belize Defence Force (BDF) soldiers apparently carrying out what seemed to be a religious intervention for a distressed soldier. Many in the public immediately classified the soldiers’ actions as an exorcism, but the BDF released a prompt statement dispelling those rumors.
The statement, which was released on Thursday, July 15, confirmed that a BDF private sought the intervention of a senior officer, whom he asked to engage in prayer on his behalf. Reports are that the BDF private was in a state of distress and was going through personal issues.
“From all accounts, during the prayer session, the private soldier experienced some loss of memory until after the prayer session, as shown on the video,” the BDF release stated.
In the video the solider can be seen being pinned down by his colleagues, with one soldier, now believed to be the senior officer whose assistance was requested, praying incessantly over the private as he slipped in and out of consciousness.
The soldiers are seen trying to wake the private at various points while continuing to pray over him. According to the statement issued by the BDF, the private has been directed to be medically examined and cleared to ensure that he was not physically harmed and will be encouraged to seek formal counseling.
A senior officer in the BDF told local media that privates or soldiers of lower ranks oftentimes reach out to senior officers for prayers and personal interventions. He said that it was voluntary on the part of the soldier.
The senior officer said that they have not been able to ascertain whether alcohol or any other substance was involved, since the soldiers were not tested at that time.