Sunday, July 25, 2010

Child "Witches" In the UK

There never was any chance that this problem was going to "stay" in Africa.

Children are being branded as witches in churches in the UK, with many suffering abuse from supposed exorcisms in which they are physically restrained and screamed at. But those are the lucky ones.

The very accusation of being a witch can result in children being starved, tortured, beaten, stabbed or even, as in the case of Victoria Climbié, murdered. It is an increasing problem around the country, campaigners say.

Police admit the cases they deal with are the tip of the iceberg, with people reluctant to speak out for fear of being stigmatised.

"It is a hidden crime that is very difficult to measure," said Jason Morgan, a detective based at the Metropolitan Police's Project Violet – a specialist child protection unit. "There may well be a large number of cases that never come to light ... it is a national problem," he added.

Children are weak and unable to defend themselves or walk away. So they're the first victims. Older people and women are next.

This is a global problem and one that will impact Pagans.


Apuleius Platonicus said...

Richard Hoskins (a London based scholar of African religions) is someone who has expertise concerning this horrific phenomenon. He interviewed traditionalists in the Congo (which is where this all started back in the 90's) who told him, among other things, "'We believe in kindoki, but it's something that merely troubles a person from time to time and hardly ever affects children. It can be treated with potions made from plants and herbs. It's not a question of beatings and 'deliverance.' We think the churches put around this kindoki idea because it increases their influence. The whole thing is a racket."

"Kindoki" is a Congolese word that simply means "spiritual power" or "magic". It is not inherently harmful or beneficial. Like any other natural phenomenon, such as gravity, kindoki can cause harm or it can be beneficial.

In the mouths of African Christians, however, words like "kindoki" (all African languages have multiple words for "magic", almost always these words are neutral, like "kindoki") are hurled only as accusations.

Christians hunting witches? Christians conflating all magical practices with malefic magic? Is there anything new under the sun?

Teacats said...

Very scary -- and yes -- I do believe that this practise will indeed become global -- especially in these scary times when scapegoats are being sought at many levels ..... for all kinds of ills and problems ..... Always Vigilant (with a nod to Mad-Eye Moody in Harry Potter)

Jan at Rosemary Cottage