In my last post I talked about the infamous witch hunts of 16th century United Kingdom. I mentioned that the last woman to be convicted of witchcraft was in 1944. It would seem unbelievable that practises similar to the same tortures those woman endured in the 16th century are still practised today anywhere in the world, but in the UK?
This time the victims are not elderly women and their daughters, they are not pagans, healers or village outcasts. They are children. Pastors in Southeast Nigeria claim their children are witches and warlocks, and that they bring illness and misfortune on their villages. They must be cleansed through deliverance or cast-out. They are beaten, attacked with boiling water and cut with machetes. They are accused of being able to transform into a cat (a typical witches familiar), a viper and even insects. When a child is accused of being a witch they are hated by absolutely everyone and cast out of the home, and village. Once cast out many of them are killed, tortured in the church or trafficked out of the city. According to the Telegraphs report more than 20,000 children are being forced to live on the streets due to being accused of sorcery, by the recently integrated Christian churches who take money from the parents to rid their children of demonic possession.
The recent case of a young couple convicted in the witchcraft related murder of 15yr old Kristy Bamu in London, highlights how immigrants from Central Africa are bringing their beliefs with them. The Metropolitan Police have reported 84 witchcraft related child abuse cases in the past 10 years. Kristy Bamu died after being tortured and drowned in an attempt to rid him of evil spirits.
Back in January Helen Ukpabio an evangelical Christian from Nigeria, known for exorcising demons from children she believes to be witches visited the US in a 12 day event to preach about combating evil spirits. Leo Igwe, International humanist warned, "she is coming to spread the gospel of hate and witch hunts in the US. Ukpabio's mission is not good for the US. Her evangelicalism is not good for children in the US."
No matter what religion we are, what beliefs we hold, is it not our job to protect our children? All children?