The Sao Paulo State appeal's court has ordered one of Brazil's biggest evangelical churches to pay compensation to a follower who says he suffered physical abuse while having an epileptic attack during a service.

The court says in an emailed statement on Tuesday that the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God must pay 10,000 reals ($5,000) to Alcione Saturnino dos Santos. He says that in 2001 he was repeatedly beaten by church pastors who allegedly thought he has been "possessed by the devil."

The court statement says the church confirmed Santos suffered an epileptic attack inside one of its temples but denied that pastors beat him.

Phone calls to the church for comment went unanswered.