Snake handling heads to Nat Geo

Snake Salvation, a series debuting on National Geographic Channel in September, follows two U.S. pastors who partake in the religious ritual of snake handling.
August 8, 2013

Snake Salvation, a series following two American pastors who partake in the religious ritual of snake handling, slithers onto National Geographic Channel’s schedule on September 10.

The series, produced by National Geographic Television, follows Pastors Jamie Coots and Andrew Hamblin who proclaim their faith to their congregations by handling venomous snakes during church services. The practice has been undertaken by various Pentecostal churches over the past 100 years, with the doctrine based on a passage in the Bible that says “signs that follow them that believe” include the “taking up” of serpents. According to reports, the practice has led to the deaths of close to 100 practitioners since its inception, and has been made illegal in various states.

National Geographic Channel says the 16-episode series will document the pastors’ work and family lives and will also examine how they collect and maintain the snakes that are a fundamental part of their services.

Snake Salvation is exec produced by Jerry Decker and Matthew Testa for National Geographic Television, and for National Geographic Channels, the executive producer is Madeline Carter.


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Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.