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A letter about Mary Baker Eddy

This letter to the editor was submitted to The Wall Street Journal, in response to an opinion piece that referred to Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist.

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May 26, 2018

Earlier this week a church member serving at the Christian Science Reading Room in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, was assaulted in an apparently random act of violence. She passed away the following day. This grievous incident has been widely reported and is under investigation by police. The following statement was provided by the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Ontario to reporters who have asked for comment.

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Christian Scientists and respect for the rights of others

Like people of many faiths, Christian Scientists take the Golden Rule as basic ethics. It guides our relations with society, and while we can’t claim to have been always perfect in this regard, we feel strongly about respecting the rights of our neighbors and fellow citizens, and not imposing our own religious choices on others. Love for family, neighbor, community and the world is at the core of our values just as in most other churches.

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A Study of Christian Science testimonies of healing
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Why would reasonable people turn to the practice of spiritual healing in today’s high tech, pervasively medical culture?

Many automatically assume that Christian Scientists, who have been widely known for their practice of spiritual healing through more than a century, must not be “reasonable people.” Journalists often characterize them as “faith healers” – usually a term of derision implying ignorance and fanatical belief. And yet, this label is seriously misleading, as most such stereotypes are.

Christian Scientists are a diverse, substantial religious body. They’re conscientious, thinking people, on the whole. Deep as their religious convictions are, they make their own choices and respect the rights of others to do the same. They appreciate the humanitarian efforts of doctors for those who turn to them.

They see Christianity not as a narrow church dogma to be blindly adhered to, but as a way of life that has to be responsibly approached and profoundly thought through. Even in the face of public opposition – Christian Science was banned in Germany under the Nazi regime, for instance – this is the spirit in which Christian Scientists strive to approach the practice of spiritual healing.

The study republished here suggests the real reason for Christian Scientists’ continuing devotion to this practice: the actual experience of healing that it has repeatedly brought in their lives.

The study carefully quantifies the medical evidence referred to in many thousands of testimonies of healing published in the Christian Science Sentinel and Journal over a twenty-year period. Undertaken in 1989, it wasn’t (and isn’t) an effort to “prove” the truth of Christian Scientists’ faith, but simply to look at a large and challenging body of evidence that is generally ignored in public and academic discussion.

Christian Scientists themselves find these healings deeply humbling. We certainly recognize how much more we have to learn. We grieve just as others do when healing does not come. The study simply points to the breadth and scope of healing that has come through this consistent spiritual practice, and why Christian Scientists see such healing as significant beyond their own denomination.

Thoughtful people may differ in their views on the ultimate explanation of these experiences, but it’s neither honest nor scientific to dismiss them in a world that, for all its technical advances, still cries out for a deeper understanding of the spiritual sources of healing in every sphere of human life.


Committee on Publication

The division of the Christian Science church that engages with members of the media, lawmakers, and the public is known as the Committee on Publication. The Committee is not the publishing arm of the Church, but serves as an informational resource to answer questions and clear up misconceptions about the practice of Christian Science.

Manager and Church media contact

The Manager of the Committees on Publication, Kevin Ness, guides the Church’s 135 representatives (Committees) throughout the world as they interact with journalists and local lawmakers. Use the directory at the bottom of this page to find a press/legislative contact near you. Or be in touch with the Church media contact for assistance. 

Manager’s office 
Kevin Ness
210 Massachusetts Ave. P09-10
Boston, MA 02115 USA
617–450–3310 
ComManager@csps.com 

Church media contact
Ingrid Peschke
617–450–3322
peschkei@csps.com


Find local Committees on Publication