Witch Children driven from homes in Africa

It’s said that in Nigeria today there are more churches per square foot than anywhere in the world, and yet it has also been identified as the source of a growing and spreading tragic phenomena known as the church sponsored persecution and abandonment of so called “witch children”. The information emerging across the continent gives rise to a very distressing awareness that the combination of ignorance, superstition and fear (particularly when clothed in the garments of religion) can and does have horrific consequences.

The colonial period of African history is when Christianity was planted and inculcated throughout the continent with mixed results. An amalgamation of a variety of versions of Christianity and various local traditional African spiritualism and belief systems emerged and prevailed in the post colonial period. 50 years ago in Nigeria (one of the more influential geographic regions of sub Sahara Africa) the dominate Christian influence was Anglican / Episcopalian as Nigeria had been a British colony. The mid 20th century saw the introduction of Pentecostalism with it’s inclusion of spiritual warfare and demonology become a turning point in the emergence of an accelerated focus on some of the more toxic traditional superstitions concerning witchcraft and deliverance from evil powers.

Some church leaders began to emphasize the benefits of specially gifted apostles, prophets and deliverance ministries to exercise their unique spiritual power to discern and identify children who had become possessed by the spirits of witches, who fed on the blood of innocent children and brought multiple curses and plagues on the people.

The fear of these children who are often spontaneously identified (stigmatized) by these charlatan prophets and spiritual leaders in public worship services is difficult to fathom as it causes mothers and fathers to turn against their own parental instincts and either abandon and reject their own children or worse, torture and even kill them to protect the community.  For the price of a half year of salary for the average family, a priest or minister would perform arcane deliverance rituals and try to drive the evil out of these stigmatized witch children with no guarantee of success.

In the last several years, against all sense of credibility, crude and inexpensive video cassette movies featuring plots and narratives of hapless children being invaded by evil spirits and becoming witch childrenwho fly around at night feeding on the blood of others and eating the clothing of the dead, have been marketed throughout the continent and instead of being laughed at as ludicrous, they have spread the fear and dread to countless Africans of many nations. The most popular of these movies is called “End of the Wicked which can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trI9C-Gdhmw&feature=related

The most obvious evidence of the terrible consequences of this movement is the growing number of children who have been driven out of their homes, families and villages and abandoned to the streets of urban centers throughout the continent. There predators exploit and abuse their vulnerability by recruiting them into child labor schemes or human slavery. The statistics are only now beginning to be compiled to try and document the scope of this incomprehensible cruelty.

Abandoned Children’s Fund is careful to qualify all our project partners, working only with organizations that recognize this kind of assault on innocent children and are committed to protect their own children and speak out against this kind or barbarism. Some of our partners have asked us for increased security measures to protect their children from kidnapping by some who even practice human sacrifice in their communities.

I know this information is inflammatory, unwanted and so incredulous in the 21st century that one is tempted to think it a ruse, but do some research, visit You Tube or Google “Child Witches of Africa” and see for yourself the growing and staggering scope of the problem.

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