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Poland opens first exorcism center

MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) - Poland plans to open its first exorcism center, for those who believe they are possessed by the devil, in the town of Poczernin 30 km (18 miles) from the city of Szczeczin, Polish media said Wednesday.

Andrzej Trojanowski, a Catholic priest working in the city says the center will be equipped with a chapel and will have a psychiatrist on hand.

Trojanowski said there was a demand for the service as he deals with up to 20 people a week allegedly possessed by the devil.

The center was the idea of the Catholic Church in Poland, which already has around 50 working exorcists, and the project is expected to provide spiritual help and guidance to the needy.

According to priests their service is popular with visitors from Germany, which has no working exorcists.

Many consider those who claim to be possessed are just mentally ill, whereas others contend that those diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses are really possessed by the devil.

The practice of exorcism by priests and clergy became very popular in the 1970s, which coincided with the 1973 release of the world-wide blockbuster movie The Exorcist.

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