LIFE-THREATENING AND IN SOME CASES ILLEGAL: WHY DO SNAKE-HANDLING CHURCHES STILL DO IT?
Back in the remote section of the hills southeast of Manchester, Kentucky, Holiness Church meeting was held. James Estep demonstrates his faith by handling four rattle snakes without fear, July 5, 1959. The meeting was held in the home of Forester Asher at a community called Blue Hole on the Clay and Leslie County line. (AP Photo/H.B. Littell)
Snake handling churches have long been a fascination for the public, the majority of whom consider the practice rash and dangerous. The media has also been shedding light on this form of worship by some Christian churches for many years as well.
After the death of the well-known snake-handling pastor Mack Wolford from West Virginia in late May though, the controversial practice is being spotlighted again.
With the risks of snake-handling and some states even making the tradition illegal by banning ownership of venomous snakes, Anderson Cooper’s 360 went inside some of these churches to find out why they still do it. Watch the clip:
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