The Mexican Church That Burps Away Evil With Coca-Cola

One of those things you just can't help but notice when you're drinking soda is that swallowing the beverage will inevitably trigger an audible burp — or two. But why do Coke and other soft drinks cause us to burp? It comes down to carbonation. Sodas contain carbon dioxide bubbles that accrue in your gut, which are then released as gas in the form of a burp to relieve the pressure. The faster you drink the soda and gulp down air, the more likely you are to burp (via Livestrong).

Normally, one place you might be afraid to burp aloud is church. Interrupting a sermon with a thunderous belch probably wouldn't win you too many friends among church leaders or fellow parishioners. At the very least, it might be perceived as vulgar and rude. But there is one church in Mexico where such behavior not only wouldn't be frowned upon — it would be celebrated and encouraged as a legitimate form of worship.

'Excuse me, I was just exorcising my demons'

A church known as the "Coca-Cola Church" in San Juan Chamula, Chiapas (the southernmost state in Mexico) uses the internationally-renowned beverage in its religious ceremonies. The church's real name is St. John the Baptist, and it features a mix of Catholicism and local religious beliefs. One of those beliefs involves Coke and induced burping (per Insider).

The burping part is very important because congregants of the church believe that burping expels evil from their souls and cleanses their spirits (via Good Housekeeping). And as noted above, carbonated beverages can instigate the burping process — especially when you ingest them rapidly.

The church previously used a traditional alcohol to catalyze burps, but Coke has now become ubiquitous in Mexico, which consumes more per capita than anywhere else in the world. It's used in many traditional ceremonies and rituals in Chiapas, and is even thought among certain indigenous groups to contain healing properties (per The Guardian).

Remember this story the next time someone scolds you for burping at the dinner table. 'Excuse me, I was just exorcising my demons. Gotta let the evil out.'