Sunday, November 9, 2008

Child Witches

This should enrage Evangelicals around the world as Christ's name is being used to abuse, abandon, and murder innocent children of all ages. The witchcraft scare has been spreading in places like Nigeria where a form of Evangelical Christianity, paganism, and extreme superstition has combined into a finger-pointing religion where every problem you face can easily be blamed on witchcraft. More specifically, on the child witches. "Prophets" and "Prophetesses" are the only ones who are able to tell if a child has become a witch and they are the only ones who can exorcise them for a hefty price (about a year's income). If the exorcism fails, the child is then killed or abandoned. A news story from the Telegraph:

During the "deliverance" ceremonies, the children are shaken violently, dragged around the room and have potions poured into their eyes. The children look terrified. The parents look on, praying that the child will be cleansed. If the ritual fails, they know their children will have to be sent away, or killed. Many are held in churches, often on chains, and deprived of food until they "confess" to being a witch...

Some Nigerians blame the increase on one of the country's wealthiest and most influential evangelical preachers. Helen Ukpabio, a self-styled prophetess of the 150-branch Liberty Gospel Church, made a film, widely distributed, called End of the Wicked. It tells, in graphic detail, how children become possessed and shows them being inducted into covens, eating human flesh and bringing chaos and death to their families and communities.

Mrs Ukpabio, a mother of three, also wrote a popular book which tells parents how to identify a witch. For children under two years old, she says, the key signs of a servant of Satan are crying and screaming in the night, high fever and worsening health.


john said...

I have to admit you have posted some troubling articles in the past; stories designed to anger your readers and make them think about their world and what's going on that we aren't always aware of. This article may be the worst I have read in a long time. In fact when I first read it several days ago I was so mad I couldn't even formulate an intelligent comment. Every time I look at the faces of those children in the film I am torn by how beautiful they are; and how innocent. I also wonder what impression they must be getting of Christ as this unfolds.

This is a story that deserves to be told to everyone who calls themselves a Christian. I honestly have no idea what can be done about this situation other than praying about it in very specific terms. Do you have any concrete ideas, other than praying, that we, as believers could do to alleviate this horror?

It almost makes me think we should give up traditional missionary work and, instead, put together action teams designed to go in and stop such things in their tracks. I know, I know, that's impractical but it's how I feel after looking at this film.

Keep up the good work!


Thanks for the comment John.

You are so right.

What we can do about it? I think spreading the word to people who can physically do something about this is the best bet. Talk about it with family and friends, and especially at church.