Monday, January 21, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Suffer A Witch To Live

Thou Shalt Not Suffer A Witch To Live
I wrote previous about my experiences with witchcraft in Nigeria. And now I take hostage a new affinity in Nigeria, a true dread story of today proper from the bother chambers of the Post-mortem.


KATHARINE HOURELD Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009

The nine-year-old boy lay on a gruesome sanatorium quilt heaving with ants, staring blindly at the wall.

His reduced cleric had accused him of existence a witch, and his set up after that tried to wring acid down his defile as an exorcism. It spilled as he struggled, burning impossible his come out in the open and eyes. The narrow boy undetectably had profundity gone to tip the name of the church that had denounced "Intensification Zion Lighthouse.

A month taking into consideration, he died.

Nwanaokwo Edet was one of an budding delivery of children in Africa accused of witchcraft by pastors and after that tortured or killed, steadily by reduced members. Pastors were difficult in curtailed of 200 belongings of "witch children" reviewed by the AP, and 13 churches were named in the case store.

Convinced of the churches difficult are renegade local brushwood of total franchises. Their worshippers dirty dig absolutely the Biblical catchphrase, "Thou shalt not conduct a witch to enliven."

"It is an upset what they are allowing to dirty dig place in the name of Christianity," aimed Gary Foxcroft, bust of nonprofit Stepping Grind Nigeria.

For their part, the families are steadily overpoweringly impoverished, and sometimes even happy to surround one less lips to foster. Need, deviate and impoverished expansion lay the buttress for accusations, which are after that triggered by the death of a appropriate, the loss of a job or the disapproval of a cleric on the make, aimed Martin Dawes, a lecturer for the Aligned Nations Subordinate Cache.

"The same as communities come under stress, they examination for scapegoats," he aimed. "It plays clothed in traditional beliefs that someone is faithful for a sullen change... and children are immobilized."

"The raise objections of witchcraft is barely new, but it has hard on new life entirely in part while of a curt bunion in evangelical Christianity. Campaigners versus the practice say set 15,000 children surround been accused in two of Nigeria's 36 states out of the frame the once decade and set 1,000 surround been murdered. In the once month bewildered, three Nigerian children accused of witchcraft were killed and complementary three were set on fire.

Nigeria is one of the heartlands of abuse, but barely the only one: the Aligned Nations Subordinate Cache says tens of thousands of children surround been targeted due to Africa.

Clerical signs shoot set every bend of the means zigzag fluff the knot among Uyo, the bank account of the southern Akwa Ibom badge where Nwanaokwo lay, and Eket, home to many enhanced rejected "witch children." Churches outnumber schools, clinics and banks put together. Masses brand to way out parishioner's jam doubts as well as spiritual "eight out of ten Nigerians struggle by on less than 2 a day.

"Need requirement conquer fire," insists the Instinctive 2 Manage Constrain on one of Uyo's primary streets.

"Where unimportant shots become big shots in a mission time," promises the Winner's Chapel down the means.

"Long for your way to riches," advises Embassy of Christ a few blocks impossible.

It's distinct for churches to scrape out a swarm with so future fixture. So some pastors corrupt their credentials by accusing children of witchcraft.

Nwanaokwo aimed he knew the cleric who accused him only as High priest King. Intensification Zion Lighthouse in Nigeria at the first part of confident that a High priest King worked for them, after that denied that they knew any such personage.

Bishop A.D. Ayakndue, the bust of the church in Nigeria, aimed pastors were impelled to pray about witchcraft, but not to abuse children.

"We pray out of the frame that bother (of witchcraft) very convincingly," he aimed. "But we can never smash up a child."

The Nigerian church is a role of a Californian church by the vastly name. But the California church says it lost undergo with its Nigerian offshoots compound being ago.

"I had no raise objections," aimed church pompous Carrie King by communication from Tracy, Calif. "I knew realm held in witchcraft out of the frame submit but we deduct in the power of prayer, not organically harming realm."

The Intensification Zion "moreover named by three other families as the hunter of their "is part of the powerful Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria. The Fellowship's command, Ayo Oritsejafor, aimed the Fellowship was the fastest-growing priestly group in Nigeria, with enhanced than 30 million members.

"We surround disposed so future in the once few being we cannot grant an eye on everyone," he explained.

But Foxcroft, the bust of Stepping Grind, aimed if the rely on was fine to rates chipping in law, it may perhaps moreover normalize its members superior. He had more willingly than in black and white to the rely on dual to uncover it to the abuse, he aimed. He optional the fellowship ask members to sign forms reproving abuse or be significant meetings to school in pastors about the new child responsibility for law in the badge of Akwa Ibom, which makes it unauthorized to heap scorn on children as witches. Even laws and expansion were looked-for in other states, he aimed.

Sam Itauma of the Subordinate Care order and Analysis Grid aimed it is the highest weak "the orphaned, under the weather, disabled or "who are highest steadily denounced. In Nwanaokwo's case, his impoverished set up and dead mother ready him an easy object.

"Conventional churches who didn't use to identify child witches are existence fringe clothed in it by the fixture," aimed Itauma. "They are seen as devotedly powerful while they can deduce witchcraft and the parents may even pay them money for an exorcism."

That's what Margaret Eyekang did since her 8-year-old baby Abigail was accused by a "forecaster" from the Apostolic Clerical, while the girl liked to restfulness improbable on hot "interpreted as meaning she might be carried by the wind off to oppressive a coven. A series of exorcisms penalty Eyekang eight months' balance, or US270. The expenditure bankrupted her.

Neighbors moreover attacked her baby.

"They enhance her with sticks and asked me why I was bringing them a witch child," she aimed. A appropriate ready Eyekang deck space but Abigail was not normal and had to restfulness in the streets.

Members of two other families aimed pastors from the Apostolic Clerical had accused their children of witchcraft, but asked not to be named for severity of quarrel.

The Nigeria Apostolic Clerical refused continuous requests ready by communication, phone and in personage for examination.

"At the first part of aspect, there's nil strange about the laughing, grubby kids playing hopscotch or reading from a falling apart Dick and Jane book by the graffiti-scrawled cinderblock domicile. But this is where children make equal Abigail end up as soon as existence labeled witches by churches and impious or tortured by their families.

There's a indentation above Jane's shy smile: her mother tried to saw off the top of her top as soon as a cleric denounced her and continuous exorcisms price a be on a par with of 60 didn't deal with her of witchcraft. Mary, 15, is right beginning to pin down about boys and how they will examination at the indentation bandanna on her come out in the open caused since her mother doused her in bitter beer. Twelve-year-old Rachel dreamed of existence a backer but relatively was chained up by her cleric, starving and routed with sticks repeatedly; her uncle compensated him 60 for the exorcism.

Israel's cousin tried to disappear him personified, Nwaekwa's set up quantity a nail fluff her bust, and adorable "all splash, elbows and toothy "was routed by his cleric, starving, ready to eat cement and after that set on fire by his set up as his pastor's husband cheered it on.

The children at the home run by Itauma's rely on surround been mutilated as inattentively as the praying mantises they handwriting with. Situate officials asked for the trainee certain names not to be hand-me-down to protect them from quarrel.

The home was founded in 2003 with seven children; it now has 120 to 200 at any unquestionable time as children are reconciled with their families and new dead arrive.

Helen Ukpabio is one of the few evangelists publicly united to the disapproval of child witches. She heads the huge Freedom Gospel church in Calabar, where Nwanaokwo hand-me-down to enliven. Ukpabio makes and distributes appearing in books and DVDs on witchcraft; in one mist, a group of child witches lug out a man's eyeballs. In complementary book, she advises that 60 percent of the weakness to tolerate children is caused by witchcraft.

In an interview with the AP, Ukpabio is accompanied by her lawyer, church officials and secret mist gathering.

"Witchcraft is real," Ukpabio insisted, up to that time reproving the physical abuse of children. Ukpabio says she performs non-abusive exorcisms for free and was not observant of or faithful for any error of her resources.

"I don't know about that," she acknowledged.

Still, she after that acknowledged that she had seen a cleric from the Apostolic Clerical break a girl's jaw inside an exorcism. Ukpabio aimed she prayed out of the frame her that night and cast out the demon. She did not reply to questions on whether she took the girl to sanatorium or complained about the unsuitable to church powers that be.

Time was activists publicly notorious Freedom Gospel as reproving "child witches," armed normalize clothed in at Itauma's home accompanied by a church lawyer. Three children were spoiled in the combat. Itauma asked that other churches notorious by children not be named to protect their dead.

"We cannot release to make enemies of all the churches set there," he aimed. "But we know the huge greater part of them are difficult in the abuse even if their station aren't observant."

Birthright mentioning the name of a church is a load to frighten a group of exciting children at the home.

"Bring joy to hack the pastors who smash up us," aimed Jerry discreetly, magical the scars on his come out in the open. "I deduct in God and God knows I am not a witch."

For realm who say they are "Bible-believing Christians," in Nigeria or anywhere excessively, whether they bother children organically or in any other way harm them, they do well to reminisce what Jesus Christ aimed in Matthew 18:1-6.

At the vastly time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the maximum in the win of heaven?

And Jesus called a unimportant child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

And aimed, Verily I say unto you, Excluding ye be influenced, and become as unimportant children, ye shall not pervade clothed in the win of heaven.

Whosoever accordingly shall compliant himself as this unimportant child, the vastly is maximum in the win of heaven.

And whoso shall meet one such unimportant child in my name receiveth me.

But whoso shall libel one of these unimportant ones which deduct in me, it were superior for him that a burden were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the intensity of the sea.