I wrote a post a few months back about the 15,000 homeless Nigerian children who have been exiled because they were accused of being witches and warlocks. Today, the site livesteez.com has brought these kids, and their physical abuse, to our attention again.
In the African country of Nigeria, what most would call a teen’s “rebellious phase,” is sometimes labeled witchcraft. Many Nigerian children accused of being witches are often held responsible for causing illness, death and destruction resulting in tortuous punishment under the guise of “cleansing.”
A pre-teen Nigerian boy, Christian Eshiett, was often in trouble with his grandfather, also his caretaker, for running away from home for days, skipping school and cavorting with friends. His grandfather recalled his measures of punishment and the day he decided his grandson was a witch.
“I beat him severely with canes until they broke, yet he never shed a tear,” said 76-year-old Eshiett Nelson Eshiett. “One day, I took a broom to hit him and he started crying. Then I knew he was possessed by demons… Nigerian witches are terrified of brooms,” the man stated in a report from CNN.Since that day two years ago, the now 14-year-old Christian was branded a witch. The torture and abuse has worsened.
The teen told CNN in a telephone interview,”they would take my clothes off, tie me up and beat me.” He is one of thousands of Nigerian teenagers that have suffered severe punishment for being labeled a witch.
Christian’s grandfather, a theater instructor at a university in Nigeria, has since allowed his grandson to return home because he said he loves him and is an advocate for his education. However, he still believes Christian is clenched by the demons of witchcraft.
“When you are possessed, you are possessed; no one can deliver you from Satan,” Eshiett said.
Before we dismiss this story as third-world insanity, let me assure you that child exorcisms happen daily all across America. I know for a fact that many Charismatic mega-churches offer this a particular ministry and have particular pastors who specialize in the practice. The only difference, is we have better laws to protect children from physical abuse. Unfortunately, our warped views of religious freedom, provide no protection from psychological abuse.