In a letter to the BBC, general superintendent of the Elim group of Pentecostal churches, John Glass and Assemblies of God general superintendent John Partington called the reports ‘outrageous’ and ‘biased’. The BBC story referred to alleged anecdotal evidence that children suffering from HIV were being offered ‘miracle cures’ as alternatives to treatment.

‘I’ve been a Pentecostal minister for 44 years and am a third-generation minister,’ Glass told Christianity, ‘and I have never heard it said in an Elim church that anybody should not take medicine after prayer. It’s ridiculous.’ However, Glass admitted that there were parts of the world where people calling themselves Pentecostals did that.

Dr Laurence Crutchlow of the Christian Medical Fellowship said advising people not to take medicine would be ‘not only potentially life-threatening, but may be denying someone a means of grace that God might be using in their life.’