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A U.S couple who prayed instead of seeking medical
A U.S couple who prayed instead of seeking medical help as their 11-year-old daughter slowly died from complications of diabetes have been charged with second degree reckless homicide, national media said on Tuesday.

The parents of Madeline Kara Neumann, who died in the state of Wisconsin in late March, refused to seek medical help for their daughter, saying that her illness was "a test of faith," and that she was under "spiritual attack."

The family noticed a change in their daughter's health around two weeks before her death and finally called 911 after the girl stopped breathing on Easter Sunday.

"We just thought it was a spiritual attack and we prayed for her," the jsonline.com news portal quoted the girls' mother, Leilani Neumann, as saying. "My husband, Dale, was crying and mentioned taking Kara to the doctor, and I said the Lord's going to heal her and we continued to pray."

"By that Saturday (the day before the girl's death) you had an 11-year-old child who wasn't eating, so she wasn't getting any nourishment, she wasn't taking in any fluids, she wasn't walking, she was struggling to get to the bathroom," Marathon County District Attorney Jill Falstad said, commenting on the case.

The family who own a coffee shop and have three other children, are believed to have ties to Unleavened Bread Ministries, whose members reportedly avoid medical care in favor of prayer, the upi.com portal reported.

The organization, whose website states that "These are America's last days," characterized the Neumanns as "a very loving family who want to walk in the steps of Jesus." It also claimed that the Neumanns had not know the extent of the daughter's illness and thought that she was suffering from a cold, saying that the couple are to be now "charged with the crime of praying!"

"This is an attempt by the government to make yet another attack on our religious belief in an effort to destroy our faith," the organization went on to say.

The Wisconsin medical examiner claimed in a report that shortly after their daughter's death, the Neumanns were told that her body would be taken for an autopsy, but that they replied, "You won't need to do that. She will be alive by then."

The Neumanns could face up to 25 years in prison if found guilty of the charges.

Christian fundamentalism has been steadily rising in the U.S. since the Reagan-era.

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