Controversial televangelist Pat Robertson recently advised a mother to investigate any possible occult connections her family might have had in order to help cure her son of an illness.
On the Monday episode of "The 700 Club" during the "Bring It On" segment, Robertson was asked a question by a mother identified as "Dianne."
"My son heard sounds that sent painful shock-waves through his body as I was praying for him and I called on the name of JESUS," wrote Dianne.
"My son said it felt like something hit him very hard in the stomach. I know this is not of God. He is a Christian. Can Christians be attacked by demons?"
Robertson responded that the son might be "attacked by demons" or even "oppressed or possessed by demons," as opposed to suffering from a medical condition.
"You need to get somebody with you who understands the spiritual dimension and doing spiritual warfare," said Robertson, adding that "you don't want some quack in there that's casting out nonexistent demons."
Robertson also told the viewer that the issue may stem from a family ancestor who may have been involved in pagan activities.
"If I were you, I would look back in your family. What in your family — do you have anybody involved in the occult, somebody in witchcraft or tarot cards or psychic things?" asked Robertson.
"Has there been something there that you don't know about. Some grandparent, great grandparent or something. Look into the family tree, and then get some people in there and cast this stuff out. But that does not sound like normal."
Robertson's remarks on spiritual warfare come a couple weeks after the center of the Roman Catholic Church gave official recognition to an exorcist organization.
At the start of July, the Vatican officially recognized the International Association of Exorcists, an organization comprised of about 250 priests across 30 nations.
"The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported Tuesday that the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy had approved the organization's statutes and recognized the group under canon law," noted The Associated Press.
"More than his predecessors, Pope Francis speaks frequently about the devil, and last year was seen placing his hands on the head of a man purportedly possessed by four demons in what exorcists said was a prayer of liberation from Satan."
According to a YouGov.com poll taken of 1,000 Americans, 51 percent of respondents said that they believe a person can be possessed by either the devil or an evil spirit.
"The results show that half of Americans believe in possession, although most say it happens infrequently. The margin of error was 3 percent," noted YouGov.com.