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2nd prayer death: Parents jailed after 2nd child dies from failed prayer healing

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A second “prayer death” has sent a Philadelphia couple, who believe in faith healing, to jail for three to seven years after another one of their children died.

The Associated Press, via Yahoo! News, reported Wednesday that Herbert and Catherine Schaible were found directly responsible for allowing their 8-month-old son Brandon to die last year. Despite being stricken with pneumonia, they refused to seek medical attention, instead relying on “belief that the power of prayer and faith healing” would cure him.

Incredulously, this was the Schaible’s second child that was lost over their firm religious beliefs. In 2011, a court ordered that their seven children receive annual checkups, and that the parents immediately notify a doctor when one them fall ill.

That order followed a jury verdict which convicted the parents of involuntary manslaughter of their 2-year-old son, Kent, who died under similar circumstances. The Schaibles were sentenced to 10 years probation.

The Pa. couple belong to a Pentecostal community, the First Century Gospel Church, in northeast Philadelphia. At the time of Brandon’s death, Herbert Schaible, 45, told the police:

“We believe in divine healing, that Jesus shed blood for our healing and that he died on the cross to break the devil’s power.”

Judge Benjamin Lerner had condemnatory words, and rejected the defense claims regarding their religious beliefs.

“April of 2013 wasn’t Brandon’s time to die. You’ve killed two of your children. Not God. Not your church. Not religious devotion – you.”

The remaining six children are now either in foster care or placed with relatives. All attend public schools, and receive medical, dental and vision care.

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