Witch Hunting in Africa

Posted on 06/18/2012
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Search for witches and evidences of witchcraft are way back in the past, or are they? It looks like a new age witches have appeared. These days if a woman is successful and powerful they will make a connection to some kind of witchcraft, God forsake, she did it with her hard work and knowledge. But this is not our topic. We are in Africa.

Africa, one great continent, unexploited and unexplored enough is a good starting point for crazy things to happen. People live completely different. When I say completely different I am referring to the usual western way of living. They have been touched with our way of living a little bit, but still other rules apply there.

In 1999, BBC has reported about witch hunting in Congo and Tanzania, and than again in 2001, in Ghana, today they report about the same thing in Nigeria. What is going on in Africa? How all of the sudden so many witches have appeared there? How so many prophets (false ones) have appeared there? Is the end of the world really near?

Every little thing what happens can be interpreted as a work of a witch. The only thing which is worse than people believing in this what prophets say is that they are accusing children for being possessed. Children are not safe in Africa. In parts of Southern Africa several hundred people have been killed in witch hunts since 1990.

They pick poisonous 'asiri' berries that were made into a draught and force children to take it. If that doesn't do the work and kills a child, then it would be a barbed-wire hanging. It is known that sometimes their relatives or family member throw boiling water and caustic soda over the child's head and body, and than to dump their screaming child in a field. The children are rely small, there is even a baby found, for whom "prophet" said to be a witch!!

Burning a child which is claimed to be a witch by a "prophet" is also a popular method. It is known that in few occasions children were poured with petrol and than left to burn. Some try to bury children alive. Some are just beaten and than just expelled from the community and left to die. There are many things people are trying to get rid of bad luck and misfortune in which they were found. One thing I am sure, killing or beating up and abandoning your child will not help you in any way. The real curse is just about to strike you after doing something like this.

The more children the pastor declares witches, the more famous he gets and the more money he can make. It is a simple math. The parents are asked for so much money that they will pay in installments or perhaps sell their property. By now, in Nigeria is being found 5000 children alive, with serious traumas physical and mental after suffering such a abuse. And even more dead children have been found.

Although old tribal beliefs in witch doctors are not so deeply buried in people's memories, and although there had been indigenous Christians in Nigeria since the 19th century, it is American and Scottish Pentecostal and evangelical missionaries of the past 50 years who have shaped these fanatical beliefs. Evil spirits, satanic possessions and miracles can be found aplenty in the Bible, references to killing witches turn up in Exodus, Deuteronomy and Galatians, and literal interpretation of scriptures is a popular crowd-pleaser.

More about his subject you can see a video posted on The Guardian.


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