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.