Meet The Child Preachers of Brazil Who Some Think Heal the Sick

08:30 AM 2015

Alani Santos, 11, croons into a microphone at her father’s church in a small city outside of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. She’s healing a boy about her age with cancer and heart problems, singing prayers until he says he feels his illnesses have left him. Alani, who began healing at age 3, is one of an estimated thousand or more child preachers in Brazil.

Brazil, Alani’s father explains, has a weak healthcare system. Preachers and religious healers offer a way for the sick and suffering to take their health into their own hands. Some say that the child preachers are false prophets, exploited by the adults who publicize them, while others say they’re messengers of God, performing real, concrete miracles. Which is it? Watch the video above to decide for yourself, and find more on child preachers in The New York Times.

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