An increasing number of children are being accused of witchcraft in parts of Africa, the UN children’s agency says. Orphans, street children, albinos and the disabled are most at risk.
A new Unicef report warns that children accused of being witches – some as young as eight – have been been burned, beaten and even killed as punishment.
The belief that a child could be a witch is a relatively modern development, researchers say. Until 10-20 years ago, it was women and the elderly who tended to be accused.
The agency says the rise in vulnerable children being abused in this way is linked to greater urbanisation in the continent and disruption caused by war…
The agency said there was little it could do about the belief in witchcraft itself, and that it was not trying to eradicate the practice. But it said violence against children was wrong, and that it would do everything it could to stop it…
It is reported that some evangelical preachers have added to the problem by charging large sums for exorcisms. One was recently arrested in Nigeria after charging more than $250 for each procedure.
I don’t mean just about the ignorance of believing in child witches. The opportunist preachers hustling families for exorcising the demons. What greedy bastards.
Do you wonder if this cruelty was helped or hindered by Christian missionaries.
A six-year-old albino girl in Burundi has been found dead with her head and limbs removed, in the latest killing linked to ritual medicine. Albinos in the region have been targeted because of a belief peddled by witchdoctors that their body parts can be used for magic potions.
There have also been a number of attacks in neighbouring Tanzania.
Last week, police in south-western Tanzania arrested a man who was attempting to sell his albino wife to Congolese traders.
I won’t launch into a long rant about superstition. Let’s just leave it at – the difference between this level of anti-human behavior and lesser superstitions – is just that. A question of degree.
They’re all just as stupid. There is nothing “spiritual” about behaving like you’re still in the Stone Age.