PRIESTS in Ethiopia are using Facebook to perform mass exorcisms - and live-stream them online to gain armies of new disciples.

The modern messiahs use the ceremonies shared online to "heal" followers of HIV, mental illness, professional failures and heartbreak, it's claimed.

It's reported that followers of Yohannes Tesfamariam at Wenkeshet - a remote monastery in northern Ethiopia he founded 20 years ago - believe he has "miraculous healing powers".

And while an estimated 40,000 followers of the religion travel to the monastery every month, the preacher cultivates a massive 80,000-strong following for the mass exorcisms and mass baptisms online through Facebook and YouTube.

It's claimed followers travel to the services from Europe, the Middle East and the US, with one follower telling the Atlantic the preacher was "special" and likened him to John the Baptist.

"You'll never find anything like him all over Ethiopia," he said.

Another follower said many believe the preacher is "the messiah".

In one video, Tresfamariam is seen preaching with a microphone to kneeling followers during an outdoor ceremony.

An emotional man wrapped in blue appears to speak into a microphone for several minutes before dropping to the ground.

He - and several other followers - are then seen at the preacher's feet and touched by the cross as they kiss his feet.

In another clip, a woman reportedly testifies that following her exorcism by the preacher she had been cured of her mental health issues.

It's also claimed that an Ethiopian government official said his sister in Germany had her spinal cord fixed "simply by watching this program on YouTube and coming here".

Another woman reported she had heard of the preachings from her sister in Dubai who watched the services on Facebook.

Each of the videos shared online receive thousands of views as well as hundreds of comments and shares.

It's said that unlike exorcisms in other Christian religions, followers to the Wenkeshet monastery are drawn to the reputation and spiritual gift of the preacher, rather than the practice or the "accessory" of holy water.

It's said the preacher is part of a growing trend in Ethiopia of preachers taking their sermons online, much like televangelists in the US.

Scholar of African religion at Oxford University Naomi Richman reportedly said mass exorcism online is "fast becoming a staple practice in African Christianity".

The modern messiahs use the ceremonies shared online to 'heal' their followers