Angels

Lucifer falls from Heaven in this nineteenth-century engraving.


THE IDEA THAT angels exist is not solely the intellectual belief of the Roman Catholic Church. Many people of all religions have experienced feelings or events that instilled a belief that something is watching over them, protecting them. Whether that is a divine being depends on the person’s own belief in God. There is also a case for saying that many people feel guided by a guardian angel, which does not have to be a religious entity, but can be a deceased relative or friend. In both cases, the angel’s role is to give warning of impending danger, and comfort in times of difficulty. Their effect on an individual’s life can be immense.

One fascinating story concerns Sergei Kourdakov who, as a Russian KGB agent, was instructed not to believe deity-based faiths. Indeed, Kourdakov was in a squad purposely set up to persecute and intimidate Christian groups. On one occasion, he claims his team raided a secret Bible meeting with the task of punishing those present. Kourdakov noticed an old woman standing in the corner holding her Bible. He went over to beat her, but as he pulled his arm back to punch her, some strange presence held it behind him. He turned round but there was nobody there. Eventually, Kourdakov ended up defecting to the United States. The religious view of angels is that they are solely God’s messengers. They appear to give news of great events – for example, telling the shepherds of Christ’s birth. Their role is to perform God’s commands and reveal the most important truths to Man. Often they instil awe in those that see them, but they are said to exude a calm confidence. Although they feature regularly throughout both the Old and New Testament, it is not just bible-based religions that experience the phenomenon. Diverse races and cultures have all recorded startlingly similar accounts of meetings with mystical creatures, and they are often associated with miracles and inexplicable healing powers.

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