Abuse of ‘Witches’ on the Rise in London

I‘ve written a lot over the years about Leo Igwe, Helen Ukpabio and the horrible abuse aimed almost exclusively at women and children in North Africa due to allegations of witchcraft. Unfortunately, that practice is now spreading elsewhere. London has seen an alarming number of cases of witchcraft-related abuse.

Kevani Kanda was just six years old when her family accused her of being a witch. She was being molested by a relative and the trauma made her wet the bed and sleepwalk.

But instead of trying to find out what was wrong, Kanda’s family were convinced she was possessed by an evil spirit. For the next five years, she was starved, forced to eat her own vomit, beaten repeatedly and given suppositories containing spices to “get rid of the evil spirits.” And the torture occurred in a London suburb.

“I never told anyone what was happening to me because to me it was normal,” the 25-year-old Christian told NBC News. “That was my normal world back then and unfortunately my teachers did not pick up on the fact I was being horrendously abused.”

Kanda isn’t alone. London’s Metropolitan Police announced this week that reports of abuse where the child is accused of being a witch or possessed by an evil spirit are on the rise. Fourteen years after the force recorded its first allegation of such an incident, there have been at least 27 cases during in 2014 alone.

Most of the cases involve pastors or religious leaders in African communities who have incorporated elements of witchcraft or spirit possession into their version of fundamentalist Christianity. These beliefs are widely held in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Kanda was born.

In the Congolese capital Kinshasa, fundamentalist sects take money from families to rid their children of evil spirits. In the city of 10 million, more than 20,000 young people are thought to be living on the streets, many of whom have been shunned as witches by their families, according to research by charity War Child. Kanda said a cousin in her homeland is currently living on the streets with her baby after being shunned in this way by the family.

And that’s just the Congo. It also goes on in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and many other countries. The Humanist Service Corps’ first project will be working at a witch camp in Ghana to help improve the conditions there.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • cry4turtles

    Why can’t they just tell these poor folks that demons, witches, etc., can’ttolerate chocolate chip cookies? Just feed to possessed child and voila! Bad thing all gone.

  • raven

    Some of these kids even in London UK have been more than tortured and/or pushed out into the streets.

    They’ve been murdered.

    In Africa it is estimated 1,000 child witches are simply tortured to death. I saw one case (which survived) where the mother tried to remove the top of the kid’s skull to let the evil spirits out.

  • raven

    There are groups trying to prevent this child abuse and rescue the victims.

    They all seem to be secular groups though. The other xian groups are as usual, MIA, doing nothing to clean up their coreligionists mess.

    The claim that xianity is a source of morality is amply refuted.

    Hitchen’s Rule is well supported though. Religion poisons everything!!!

  • kantalope

    Dammit people, how many times do I have to say it?

    HARRY POTTER ISN’T REAL!

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    …and given suppositories containing spices to “get rid of the evil spirits.”

    On an unrelated note, Suppository Spice was my favourite Spice Girl.

  • Chiroptera

    Well, this is another datum that supports the point of the British secularists that Muslim immigrants are degrading British democratic society and want to live under a separate Sharia law.

    …the 25-year-old Christian told NBC News.

    Oh, wait….

  • dingojack

    *Whew* – at least they’re not targeting the werewolves of London (or Lee Ho Fook for that matter).

    Dingo

  • lorn

    Modusoperandi @5:

    … “Suppository Spice was my favourite Spice Girl.”

    LOL. Made my morning.

  • anubisprime

    The authorities in London have been aware that kids are tortured in this manner for at least a decade and it was only a few years ago in 2001 that a child’s body parts were found floating in the Thames.

    He was traced and a name emerged, further investigation led to the arrest of a Nigerian who was later jailed 4 yrs for child trafficking, but there were no arrests for murder because no one from the community was prepared to come forward.

    This same individual was identified as the last person to be seen with the child alive.

    It is not doubted that ritual sacrifice related to witchcraft was being practised and was the instrumental cause of the child’s death.

    Ritual is still very much part of the religion of incoming immigrants from areas of Africa, seems to be a bastard cross of Christianity and native belief which places great store in murdering anyone suspected of being possessed or of practising witchcraft.

    The Churches do not interfere, rather a nod and a wink is more likely after-all as long as jeebus gets a mention somewhere they are happy enough!

  • laurentweppe

    But instead of trying to find out what was wrong, Kanda’s family were convinced she was possessed by an evil spirit.

    Translation: instead of turning against their child raping adult relative, they cravenly decided to punish the one person who hadn’t yet the strength to retaliate.

  • sumdum

    Strange that the article refers to the victim as ‘the 25 year old Christian’, as if to say ‘he’s Christian, therefore he couldn’t be posessed’. How about ‘posession isn’t real’?