Amsterdam hospital to test "faith healing" claims

Annibale Carracci - Healing the Man Born Blind
Annibale Carracci - Healing the Man Born BlindPhoto: Annibale Carracci / Wikimedia Commons

A group of medical professionals from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam is researching "faith healing". They are collecting and considering tales of people whose health improved after, for example, someone laid their hands on them in prayer or anointed them, to see if there is scientific explanations for the improvement, Trouw reports.

The study is led by GP Dick Kruijthoff, who is doing his doctorate on the matter. He already collected and is currently studying 15 cases of people who claim they were healed by faith. So far he found other explanations for health improvements in 11 of these cases. 

This is the first time research specifically focused on faith healing is being done. "You can also look at cures that occurred in other situation, but we choose to do so in relation to prayer", Kruijthoff said to the newspaper. "That is relevent, because it has never been done, while there is much discussion about faith healing in some churches."