Nigerian Atheist Beaten Up By Witchcraft Believers at Conference

Leo Igwe is a Humanist and Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Humanist Movement.

He recently returned from a conference run by the British Humanist Association, having also given an interview about superstition in his country to the BBC. He was ready to attend a conference he helped organize on “Child Rights and Witchcraft.”

The conference took place in Calabar, in southeastern Nigeria. It’s an important topic because accusations of witchcraft could (and have) lead to the accused being killed.

As the conference began, 150-200 religious protestors raided the conference and started disrupting the proceedings. Chaos ensued.

Leo’s glasses were broken and his bag, phone and camera were stolen. It took 90 minutes for cops to arrive.

Speaking after the event Leo said: “The conference was a peaceful meeting for people to openly debate what could be done to prevent the abuse of child rights linked to the belief in witchcraft. This attack by Helen Ukpabio’s supporters once again highlights the depravity of this so-called “woman of God”. Such false prophets should be immediately arrested and prosecuted under the child rights act”.

Who exactly is Ukpabio? Barry Duke points out:

… Helen Ukpabio has played [a role] in spreading the belief in child “witches” in South-Eastern Nigeria. Teachings offered by Ukpabio in her book, Unveiling the Mysteries of Witchcraft, includes:

A child under two years of age that cries at night and deteriorates in health is an agent of Satan.

It’s fortunate that Leo is ok. Hopefully, the resulting media attention will allow him to spread his message of rationality, that there are no actual “witches” or “curses” and those who believe so are simply wrong.

  • Wes

    Check out a documentary called “Saving Africa’s Witch Children” to see just how sick Ukpabio really is. That whole situation over there is messed up.

  • Claudia

    Wes, I saw that video. It stands as one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen on video. Just the part where very young children describe how their own parents tried to kill them with nails, boiling water or burying them alive…it makes you want to scream and cry at the same time.

  • http://chaoskeptic.blogspot.com Iason Ouabache

    A child under two years of age that cries at night and deteriorates in health is an agent of Satan.

    WHAT???? I dare you to find me a 2 year old that doesn’t cry at night. Especially if they are malnourished, ill, or are afraid that their parents are suddenly going to turn on them and bury them alive! This is insanity.

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com Paul Lundgren

    “…there are no actual “witches” or “curses” and those who believe so are simply wrong.”

    And those who encourage that belief for their own fame and profit really ARE agents of evil.

  • Dan W

    Geeze, what lunatics. People like Helen Ukpabio are insane. If it’s not ‘anyone who doesn’t share my beliefs will burn in hell’ it’s ‘anyone who doesn’t share my beliefs practices witchcraft’ or other ridiculous nonsense. That woman and her followers need to be chucked into a mental institution.

  • Rest

    This YT video is horrifying:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7pvQJD9cpQ&feature=channel_page

    And to think, Sarah Palin accepted blessings from a so-called witch hunter, Thomas Muthee. I wonder how many Western Christian are financially supporting these abusive ministries without really being aware of what’s going on?

  • Revyloution

    Im glad he’s ok. If it was otherwise, I might hesitate to write something so tasteless:

    Hello friend! I am a skeptic, just like yourself! I was recently involved in a skirmish, where I was awarded 15 million dollars in a settlement in my home country of Nigeria. Now I want to reside in a country that values skepticism, like your US of A! Please, contact me and I will wire all 15 million dollars to your bank account, and in return, I will let you keep 5 million for your services when I arrive in your glorious country!

    I look forward to meeting you, and sharing in our new found wealth,
    Leo Igwe

  • http://woodpigeon.wordpress.com Colm

    There is a petition asking the Nigerian government to take action against Helen Ukpakio, which deserves some publicity. http://bit.ly/kxcKS

  • trixr4kids

    Thank you for the link to the petition, Colm. Just signed it.

  • AnonyMouse

    A child under two years of age that cries at night and deteriorates in health is an agent of Satan.

    No, jackass. It’s a faerie who was switched with your real baby while you weren’t looking. GAW.

  • KREW09

    ya that video is disturbing,the fear and paranoia many in Africa live with is REAL, so are consequences of others’ accusations, like being burnt alive in public …WARNING GRAPHIC…

    http://www.truthtube.tv/play.php?vid=2139

  • pete3x3

    This is sick, really sick. To think they are doing this in the name of religion is NOT surprising though. What disturbed me the most in the video was the girl that had a 3″ nail driven into her head.


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