'Dangerous' baptism video causes backlash online

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
An intense baptism video is raising concerns online. Photo: Getty Images

A video of an immersive baptism has sparked outrage online, after users labelled it ‘dangerous’, ‘terrifying’ and ‘abusive’.

The video, which has resurfaced after being posted last year, shows an unidentified Orthodox priest vigorously dunking a young baby boy in baptismal water.

The video is shocking in its content; the priest swings the baby by the arms above his head and fully immerses him under the water by dunking him three times.

Onlookers in the video can be seen stepping back aghast, one woman clamping a hand to her mouth in shock.

And their shock was mirrored online where users were unanimously horrified at the footage, many slamming it as abusive, dangerous, or both.

“This is horrible and very dangerous,” wrote one woman.

Parents in particular drew a stern line slamming the practice.

“No way that guy would baptise my kid!” one mum wrote.

“This is abuse. Who is this monster,” another demanded to know.

“Terrifying for that baby,” another agreed.

Risky Business

There are strict guidelines for handling newborn babies. Photo: Getty images

Guidelines on Kidshealth specify that a newborn baby must be handled very carefully.

“Never shake your newborn, whether in play or in frustration,” is one of the first guidelines.

“Remember that your newborn is not ready for rough play, such as being jiggled on the knee or thrown in the air,” says another point.

The video was attributed to Ayia Napa, Cyprus, at a Greek Orthodox church by The Sun, but the Greek Orthodox Church denied this, releasing a statement to The Greek City Times.

“The Greek Archdiocese of Australia would like to make it known that this is definitely not the Greek Orthodox practice,” they said.

“The ‘priest’ in question is not Greek Orthodox, nor is he a bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church, as is alleged of the video.”

Certain Eastern Orthodox churches are known for full immersion baptisms of infants. Other videos have done the rounds, and raised a fair few eyebrows.

The age of the baby, and violent dunks in this latest example however, have sparked an unprecedented outcry.

Reactions continue to flow in as outrage mounts over the footage.

Those of Orthodox faith also came out denouncing the footage.

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