Today is a good news / bad news kind of day. Two articles from the UK have inspired me to write. First the bad:
A rather lengthy, and extremely disturbing, article in the Telegraph details horrendous behavior in Nigeria at the hands of so-called Priests and other religious leaders – namely the torture, abuse, and even murder of children deemed to be witches. That’s right – Witches!
In a bizarre combination of Christianity and ancient mythology, tens of thousands of children have been accused of witchcraft and Satanic possession. Though exorcisms are sometimes performed, most families can not afford the large fees charged by the local religious leaders – an entire year’s income for an average family! Most children are simply banished from their homes with no where to go or outright killed. Even the exorcisms (which are basically two weeks of torture) are not guaranteed to work.
It’s no surprise that the same people who identify the child witches are the ones who charge the exorbitant fees for the exorcisms. One of them is Helen Ukbabio. Check this out:
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.
The preacher says that her work is true to the Bible and is a means of spreading God’s word.
She claims that her films and books do not contribute to child abuse. Yeah right…
Another piece of crap highlighted in a new documentary to be aired in the UK is a man who refers to himself as “The Bishop”. He proudly claims to have killed at least 110 witches and that there are over 2.3 million in Akwa Ibom province. He also charges a hefty fee to perform his rituals.
The fear is so pervasive that many hospitals won’t even treat the children who have been abused and thrown out in the streets. Thankfully there are shelters for these children but that is little consolation in the face of such horrors.
I can’t even talk about this anymore…