Guest Post: Witch Hunting Coming to America

This is a guest post by my friend Leo Igwe, who has done more to bring attention to the barbaric practice of witch hunting in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana. He says that this practice is now spreading to African immigrant communities in the United States.

Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries: Another African Church Prosecuting Witch hunt in Contemporary America

By Leo Igwe

To most Americans, witch hunting ended in Salem centuries ago. They assume this dark age practice has no place in contemporary America. But is that really the case? I do not think so. Witchcraft accusation is going on at least in some migrant communities across the country. There are clear indications that many African churches are prosecuting a ‘silent war’ against ‘witches’ in the name of practicing Christianity. These churches are recharging witchcraft narratives in African migrant communities. African Pentecostal pastors are spreading witchcraft-based fears, panic and hysteria, fueling witchcraft suspicions and insinuations, and inciting hatred and violence against vulnerable members of the population.

Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) is one church that is prosecuting a modern day witch hunt in North America. The church’s crusade against witchcraft should, as a matter of urgency, be brought to the attention of the ‘enlightened world’.

MFM is a Nigerian church with branches across North America – in Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New York etc. Dr. Daniel Kolawole Olukoya founded it in 1989. The church draws its teachings from the Founder’s numerous books and sermons including his publications on witchcraft.

In one of his books, Overpowering Witchcraft (2010), Pastor Olukoya provides ‘sound biblical teachings’ on his ‘Ministry of Witchcraft’. He claims that manifestations of witchcraft are based in the Scriptures and can be revealed by God.

Olukoya associates witchcraft with prostitution and multiple deaths. He uses fake and fabricated stories and testimonies to illustrate the potency of witchcraft and how mothers-in-law use occult powers to undermine marriages and fuel problems in families. He states that the function of witchcraft is ”to bend what is straight, make it crooked. They change and refashion things to conform to their wicked intentions.” (p.9)

Olukoya declares that ”many intellectuals, well disciplined people and morally upright men and women, are being carefully and intelligently controlled by witchcraft spirit”. On the back cover, it states ”The destructive and competitive nature of witchcraft has done so much damage wherever they are found. Witchcraft is more complicated than we think. Witchcraft uses demonic influences to subdue and undo another. Good people are being controlled and manipulated by witchcraft weapons. Many are battling right now and have not been able to discern exactly is happening to them. Many are unconscious witches with death sentences hanging on their heads.” The author goes on to ask ”Are you being tormented by evil intelligent network? Are you being denied from enjoying your divine benefits? Have you been caged by failures on the edge of breakthroughs, profitless hard work, spiritual stagnancy, chain problems, prayer paralysis and general backwardness?” Obviously, he attributes all these problems to witchcraft.

The entire book drips with alarmist messages and passages which church members and other witch-believing folks could use to legimitize witchcraft accusation and witch persecution. A quick look on the church’s North American web site reveals how Olukoya’s teachings have been translated into “Deliverance Prayers from Witchcraft Prayers Points and Message.” The anti witchcraft prayer points are divided into several parts.

The first category contains prayers against the witchcraft pot. Some of the prayers read as follows:

”1. I break every witchcraft pot over my life, in the name of Jesus. 2. Let every evil pot hunt their owners, in the name of Jesus. 3. Every wicked pot cooking my affairs, be roasted, in the name of Jesus.4. Every witchcraft pot working against me, I bring the judgment of God against you, in Jesus name”

The second part contains prayers against ‘witchcraft burial’. It says:

”1. Every operation of witchcraft burial in my life be reversed now, in the in name of Jesus. 2. Every witchcraft burial against my marriage be reversed now, in the name of Jesus.3. 0 Lord, let the power of witchcraft burial against my finances be reversed now in the name of Jesus. 4. 0 Lord, let the power of be witchcraft burial against my progress be nullified in the name of Jesus”

The next session contains prayers against ‘witchcraft verdict’

”2. You witchcraft foundation in my life be dismantled by fire, in the name of Jesus. 3. Every witchcraft money spent on my behalf, be withdrawn by fire. 4. Every witchcraft law over my life, vanish by fire, in the name of Jesus. 5. Every witchcraft/herbalist coven harboring my womb receive the fire of God and be roasted, in Jesus name. 6. Every monthly monitoring of my womb by witchcraft power be dissolved by fire. 7. Every bi-monthly monitoring of my womb by witchcraft power, be dissolved by fire, in the name of Jesus. 8. Every witchcraft verdicts against my life, turn against your sender, in the name of Jesus. 9. You curse of bitterness issued against my life by witchcraft spirits, be broken in the name of Jesus. 10. Your curse of desolation issued against my womb, ovary, fallopian tubes by witchcraft, be broken by the blood of Jesus. 11. You curse of miscarriages issued against my womb, break by fire, in the name of Jesus. 12. Every verdict of witchcraft be nullified, in the name of Jesus”.

Another part of the prayer point is for the destruction of the ”traveling routes of witchcraft”:

”1. Let life-choking thorns begin to grow on the traveling route of my household witchcraft, in Jesus name. 2. Let the traveling-routes of my household witchcraft become their burying places, in the name of Jesus. 3. Let the angel of destruction continually minister on any route of witchcraft that is fashioned against me, in Jesus name. 4. Let any witchcraft route constructed against me become dark and slippery, in the name of Jesus”

The remaining sessions contain prayers against the ‘Communication and Transportation Systems of witchcraft’, prayers for the destruction of the altars of witchcraft, prayers for ”Breaking Witchcraft Curses”, prayers for the destruction of the covens of witchcraft and the hold of marine witchcraft, prayers for vomiting the food of witchcraft, prayers for destroying the infirmity of witchcraft and for plucking out the eyes of witchcraft, prayers for dismantling witchcraft embargo on finances and prayers for the destruction of the Throne of witchcraft.

No one should think that these are just innocuous prayer points with no effects on people’s minds and actions. They are not. These prayer points are texts and manuals for witchcraft accusation and witch finding. They produce and reinforce witchcraft stereotypes and shape how people make sense of their day to day experiences.

Critical-thinking Americans need to realize the potentially dangerous nature of Olukoya’s ‘Ministry of Witchcraft’ and take action against this violent brand of Christianity which MFM embodies before it is too late. American skeptics and freethinkers need to provide a counter narrative to MFM’s witch crusade. They should not stand by and allow a slow undoing and erosion of the gains of enlightenment and a re-enactment of the Salem witch trials. Olukoya’s Ministry of Witchcraft has no place in contemporary America and in the contemporary world. Witch hunting by African migrant churches must stop. Witch hunting pastors must be stopped.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    TYPICAL MUSLINS!!!

  • http://rhapsodies.wpmorse.com/ montanto

    ”Are you being tormented by evil intelligent network?

    Yes. It’s called Comcast.

  • vmanis1

    I hear that Lagostina makes some very nice witchcraft pots. Of course, for copper-bottomed witches there is no choice but Paul Revere ware.

    Joking aside, these clowns have the potential to cause great harm, as in Africa. Their tactics include not just condemnation, but downright lynching.

  • raven

    To most Americans, witch hunting ended in Salem centuries ago.

    Not quite.

    It just changes targets often.

    1. Joseph McCarthy was probably the most infamous witch hunters of the 20th century. He found 500 commies in the State Department. All of which were imaginary and he was discredited.

    2. Pagans and Wiccans in the USA are attacked and discriminated in the USA by xians often. They tend to keep a low profile because of this.

    Modern day “witches” include atheists, Pagans, scientists, Democrats, uppity women, gays, nonwhites, intellectuals, northerners, commieis, socialists, Moslems, nonxians, and so on.

  • raven

    Witchcraft murder: Couple guilty of Kristy Bamu killing – BBC

    www. bbc. com/news/uk-england-london-17040111

    Mar 1, 2012 – A couple have been found guilty of murdering a teenager they had accused of using witchcraft. … east London, had denied killing Bamu’s 15-year-old brother Kristy. … from the Democratic Republic of Congo, were remanded in custody … Family ‘will never forget Kristy’ 01 MARCH 2012, UK; Witch killing …

    From what Leo Igwe writes, it is a matter of time before some self proclaimed xian witch hunters kill a child or old woman in the USA.

    In London a few years ago, some guy tortured and killed his relative as a “suspected” witch. And got convicted of murder.

    Graphic: New details released in near-beheading murder of …

    kfor. com/…/police-investigate-near-beheading-murder-of-stillwater-teen-…

    Oct 30, 2014 – Graphic: New details released in near-beheading murder of … in blood and carrying a knife. stillwater suspect from security camera … He said Jacob Crockett and his brother, Jesse, “were practicing witchcraft and Isaiah had strong Christian beliefs.” …

    In fact, it is already happening. An Oklahoma xian beheaded a friend because he thought he was practicing witchcraft.

    I hope they don’t come after me. While it might seem like I practice witchcraft or magic, it is really something equally mysterious but more powerful called “science”.

  • culuriel

    How does household witchcraft have a traveling route? Doesn’t it just stay at home?

  • Sastra

    Behold the future of Christianity.

    I think modern theology with its scholarship and desire to join in to the values of the Enlightenment will slowly but surely turn into some version of religious humanism or “many paths to God” ecumenicism. But the passion and fervor and insistence that THIS religion is special and important and necessary? It’s going to come out of this retrograde, superstitious, incendiary faith of the simple folks.

    My neo-pagan friends do not like Igwe’s scientific humanistic approach to fighting against belief in witchcraft. That’s because witches are real and have real powers! Instead, we ought to be trying to help the Africans (and others) understand true witchcraft (which is benign) so they can separate it from this propaganda coming out of paternalistic religion.

    When I tell them that won’t work — can’t work — they revert to a belief in sudden spiritual transformation and enlightenment. It might happen. I can’t say it can’t. This is their faith.

  • abusedbypenguins

    All CEO’s are witches, go git ’em.

  • anubisprime

    UK have had a few instances of witchcraft related paranoia from god’s own little helpers.

    But apart from the certifiable dumbfucks that take it on themselves to torture the devil out of kiddies…there is another angle going on….

    here

    In the name of re-evangelizing the West, African Pentecostal pastors are exporting homophobic and witch-hunting brands of Christianity to Western countries. They are bringing to Europe and other parts of the Western world forms of Christianity whose practices are set to collide with the laws of these countries. But this re-Christianization program is not strictly an evangelical enterprise. It has a strong economic undercurrent. These “pastorpreneurs” want to extend their financial empires and their murky businesses to Europe using religiosity as a cover. They want to ‘recapitalize’ their ministry, and are using the African migrant communities in these countries as a launchpad.

    So xtianity rolls on doing what xtianity does, as devoid of morals and ethics as ever.

    The real sickener is the set up western based ministries that brought their delusion to flog in Africa have turned away their gaze and ignore the truly abhorrent practices in what is basically a mongrel cross between xtianity and native voodooism.

    As long as they are allowed access to the villages and enclaves and are free to spread their codswollop, then all is hunky dory, it might also benefit their mother church cos they receive kudos from the brain dead backers. movers and shakers, and grants from governments and financial wheeling and dealing at home.

    All big business, but the result will be more then horrific if it continues unchallenged.

  • some bastard on the internet

    Culuriel @6

    How does household witchcraft have a traveling route? Doesn’t it just stay at home?

    Do you who else likes to point out flaws in good Christian thinking? Witches, that’s who!

  • Michael Heath

    Witches in America?1? Thanks Obama!

  • mistertwo

    The Catholic church has never quit doing exorcisms, and many ancient beliefs are working their way back into mainstream Protestant churches today. For instance, I’ve read of people who seem to believe that many or even most illnesses are caused by demons. 50 years ago you wouldn’t have heard that except among the most ignorant Americans.

    For that reason, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if this witch hunting would work its way into mainstream Protestant churches, as well. When you start hearing of people defending the Salem witch trials as having been not entirely wrong, you’ll know.

    In I Samuel 28, King Saul consults a witch at Endor who brings up the prophet Samuel. (Up? Was he in Hell? Or the underworld? But that’s another topic.) In my church it was always said that the witch cried out because she was surprised, having never actually conjured anyone up before. The text doesn’t imply that at all, it was simply the way we explained it because we didn’t believe witches had any such power. But because the fundamentalists are becoming more and more literal in their beliefs, there will be more and more of them in the future who fear witchcraft as if it were a real power. Why else have they become so afraid of Halloween in the last 30 years or so?

  • lorn

    This should mesh quite well with the prosperity doctrine. If all prosperity comes from Jesus, and all failure to prosper comes from demons, or witches, and the church has methods to both fight off demons, and guarantee prosperity you have the whole package. Carrot and stick and a promise of complete control, in this life, and in the afterlife.

  • raven

    Just what is the difference between primitive superstitions from deepest darkest Africa or deepest Dark Age Europe?

    Needless to say, not much. Sometimes nothing whatsoever.

    It’s all still there. Belief in witches, witchcraft, demons, magic, faith healing. For some varieties of xianity, the Dark Ages never ended.

    I’m looking at you Pope Francis, WND and Charismanews, among many others.

  • sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d

    As well as witch hunts, there are also witches in Africa, ranging from the harmless- possibly beneficial sometimes- practitioners of traditional herbal medicine up to people who practise human sacrifice. A few years ago in London the mutilated body of a boy who was probably the victim of human sacrifice was found in the river Thames. However, it’s likely that- as in mediaeval Europe- the witch-hunters chase the poor and ineffective rather than rich and powerful witches.

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

    mistertwo “In I Samuel 28, King Saul consults a witch at Endor who brings up the prophet Samuel.”

    People always get this one wrong! It’s the forest moon of Endor! Jeez!

  • anubisprime

    sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d @ 15

    No one has actually been collared for that murder, even though the plod have a fair idea the who and why, but no one in the community is willing to add any background or salient facts about the suspected perp….

    They could only bust the cretin with child trafficking…got three years…WTF?

    Good news is…according to wikki..

    ” Metropolitan police believe the publicity surrounding the case has acted as a deterrent for further ritual crimes in the UK”

    Note the word ‘deterrent’…not a cessation…just that now such nonsense is achieved with a more careful eye on evidence and victim.

    ‘Careful with that axe Eugene’!

    And the jeebus inspired tend to take full advantage of threat, intimidation and silence with the full co-operation of the main delusions who will rarely if ever intervene in matters of ‘faith’.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Are you being tormented by evil intelligent network?

    No, just a couple of really dumb networks: Cox and Fox. Maybe we should direct some of those prayers at them.

  • dingojack

    MO – so Saul really consulted the Witch-king of Angmar, eh?

    😉 Dingo

  • thebookofdave

    People always get this one wrong!

    Not necessarily wrong, Modusoperandi, just not written. You see, the witch of Endor could have been an Ewok, and Ol’ King Saul may have encountered a passing Jedi knight to mediate the conference. Or a rebel spirit, magician, or spontaneous wormhole could account for the apparent discontinuity.

    Until Star Wars and Bible fan fiction authors get together form a resolving narrative to the plot holes in this story, and it becomes popular enough that the franchise owners cannot ignore it, and have to accept it as canon, it will remain a mystery. But it is still not written.