Witch Hunter Goes to the UK

Helen Okpabio, the Pentecostal preacher from Nigeria who is one of the people most responsible for violence toward suspected “witches” — almost always women and young children — in North Africa, recently took a trip to London to “deliver” people from “spiritual bondage.”

A controversial Evangelical Christian and “witch hunter” arrives in the UK in the hope of performing exorcisms on children. But in Nigeria witch scares have resulted in violence, torture and death.

The founder of the bizarre Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries has been accused of exploiting superstitious beliefs around demonic possession and endangering children.

Claiming to be a former witch, Ukpabio has advised parents; “If a child under the age of two screams in the night, cries and is always feverish with deteriorating health he or she is a servant of Satan.”

She offers “deliverance” sessions, crude exorcisms which have been accused of fuelling witchcraft accusations against children in Nigeria.

A poster for Thursday’s planned event in south London promised “disconnections from all spiritual attacks” and asked: “are you under witchcraft attack? Ancestral spirit attack? Mermaid spirit attack?”

The leaftet urged Londoners to “come and be disconnected from all spiritual attacks”.

Apparently the venue for this disgusting event had to be changed at the last minute, but it still went on. I’m looking forward to meeting Leo Igwe, a humanist activist from Nigeria who has devoted his life to stopping these witch hunts and targeted Ukpabio specifically for her major role in keeping them going, in July when he comes here to speak at the Humanism at Work conference. Thousands and thousands of people have been killed, maimed and exiled from their families and villages because of this barbaric madness.

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  • matty1

    And now, live on stage it’s the band you’ve been waiting for Mermaid Spirit Attack!

  • colnago80

    A fair question is why is Great Britain letting this harridan into their country?

  • laurentweppe

    Helen Okpabio, the Pentecostal preacher from Nigeria who is one of the people most responsible for violence toward suspected “witches” — almost always women and young children

    I’m absolutely certain that if real, can-retaliate-by-throwing-fireballs-at-whoever-pisses-them-off witches existed, self-appointed witch-hunters like Okpabio would do all they can to avoid targeting them.

  • @laurentweppe #3 – She targets witches, not mages. Haven’t you ever played a fantasy RPG?

    In any case, the only reason Okpabio is still upright is because, with some people, being turned into a toad is redundant.

  • Michael Heath

    The poster promoting the event:

    . . . “are you under witchcraft attack? Ancestral spirit attack? Mermaid spirit attack?”

    I could see a demand for people to pay for one of these three.

  • Doug Little

    I’m wondering why they even let her into the country?

  • matty1

    @2 Good question, a quick check shows a number of stories about organisations demanding she be banned from the UK but there doesn’t seem to have been any government response.

    Unfortunately they all seem to be quoting the same press release, which I cannot find on the websites of any of the organisations cited so it’s hard to say how real and widespread the outcry is.

    Another issue I have is all the stories include the following quote, attributed to Gary Foxcroft of Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network “The fundamental problem is that churches need to be regulated. Anyone can set up a church tomorrow in their own garden shed with no commitment to child protection or making their accounts transparent or any theological training.”

    I know it may seem minor compared to the evil Ukpabio is doing but I am troubled by the implication the government should be regulating theology. I also worry, as I do with the hoohaa over Sharia courts in the UK, that a focus on trying to do the impossible and regulate what small groups of individuals meeting in private homes talk about is a distraction from enforcing the laws we already have. Child abuse is a serious crime, prosecute that and those who enable it. Don’t waste time trying to find and examine the teachings of every front room cult and home group.

  • Moggie

    Mermaid Spirit Attack is one of my favourite Shonen Knife songs!

  • Crudely Wrott

    Ah! Mermaid Spirit Attack! Of course. How else can I explain the tangled mess of my bed covers this morning and the vague memory of thrashing about and calling aloud during REM sleep?

    How else to explain the fish scales between my toes and the . . . smell?

  • dingojack

    I fear, Helen Okpabio, you’re about 500 years to late.


  • dingojack

    Meh, ‘Spirit Mermaid Attack’ was OK — I prefer ‘Ethyl Merman Overdrive’, they ROCK!!*

    😉 Dingo


    * plus they double as a radar jamming device.