The problem of Christianity in Africa

This is horrible:

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This insanity stems from the Christian fear of witchcraft, and the biblical commands to kill witches.

How long will it take for humans to realize that witchcraft isn’t real? People can’t cast spells and curses over people. It’s all superstition.

And how could those small children be witches, anyway? It’s crazy.

And so sad.

(via)

  • wazza

    I believe Sarah Palin was close friends with one of the pastors who whip these crowds up…

  • http://blog.chungyc.org/ Yoo

    Christianity is “just” one of the latest superstitious fads to be latched onto by superstitious people. And it’s damned tough to educate a populace out of superstition, to make them prefer evidence and rationality.

    No surprise there: even the most rational societies today have a depressing amount of irrationality …

  • Andy

    That is so tragic.

    @wazza
    You know, I thought you were kinda kidding until I noticed this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S62Z37bIZHk

    I think I totally underestimated how loony Palin is and how lucky the world has just been to not have this insane woman in office.

  • http://doubtingeventhomas.blogspot.com/ Doubting Foo

    It sounds as if the pastors label a child as a witch and then get money to take the witch out of them. What a scam!

  • http://digitaldame.wordpress.com Digital Dame

    Doubting Foo: The witch hunts of the Middle Ages in Europe were often motivated by greed and the sexual repression of the times. Accused witches had to pay for their own imprisonment and trial, so since they usually had little money whatever land they had was confiscated. The “examinations” to determine if someone was a witch often involved stripping the victim naked, and subjecting them to what today would be called BDSM (although without the M quotient).

    It seems this sort of mindset of pointing fingers at “witches” exists when people feel completely powerless and frustrated. If they can see no other way to help themselves this appears to be their only course of action. And of course the con artists are always around to take advantage of a situation.

  • http://www.primordial-blog.blogspot.com/ Brian Larnder

    This is so terrible. I blogged about this story too, but I hadn’t seen the video and I didn’t realize it was confined to the evangelical Christians in this area.

    And yes, Sarah Palin’s missionary friend is one of the pastors behind this movement. That needs to be pointed out loud and clear.

  • wazza

    of course, to the Republican party as it is now, being friends with a witch-hunter is a good thing…

    I’d say 2012 is in the bag, if they really nominate her. The negative ads just write themselves.

  • Sean

    OK, is it possible that what we see here is villages full of desperate, poor people trying to find a better life for their children? Certainly these people are monumentally deluded, but to me, is seemed that perhaps these people are so poor that they want someone else to look after their children. Just what brand of ‘fairy in the sky’ religion is associated with this?

  • Wendy

    I was a “witch” when I was 14………. None of my spells ever worked. LOL!

    This is so sick and sad. :( When will it stop?

    Shit like this is exactly the reason why “militant atheism” is a pathetic argument. We write books and make movies…. They abuse innocent children for fear of something as trivial as the dark.

    Fundamentalists need to be honest with themselves: Who is more dangerous?

  • http://joniruhs.wordpress.com Joni

    Does anyone believe that true followers of Jesus–true followers–would promote and/or condone this behavior? From the little research I’ve done, there is a group of 419 “pastors” that are responsible for a myriad of Nigerian scams some of which were exposed by ABC News. My heart and soul is so angry at action like this that completely bastardizes the message of love and mercy that came in Jesus Christ.

  • http://joniruhs.wordpress.com Joni

    clarification: “action like this” refers to the evil behavior of the people perpetuating the abuse

  • http://meatofthematter.wordpress.com/ Jim

    Joni, history is rife with stories about the followers of Jesus–true followers–doing this sort of thing.

    Any social code based on blind adherence to irrational principles has no ceiling of absurdity, including yours.

  • mike

    How long until people realize God isn’t real and stop all this madness? This is the sick reality of religious ignorance and intolerance. When you try and live your life based in 3500 year old morality you wind up like these losers.

  • Proto

    @ mike, I’m fairly optimistic that people will realize that god isn’t real eventually, but it’s already way too late to prevent religion related atrocities from taking place.

    Hell, it’s too late to give most of these dis-family’ed children normal lives.

  • http://zlovers.blogspot.com Zabimaru

    @Joni:

    Ah, no true Scotsman and all that.

    Sure, normally Christians aren’t like this. Followers of Jesus usually don’t see the need (today, at least) to persecute “witches”. Christianity as a whole, as a movement, is not to blame.

    But does that mean that we should treat this matter as something separate from Christianity, because “no true follower” would do this? I don’t think so.

    The pastors in question might be corrupt and greedy in a normal, non-religious fashion. But it would seem that the people actually doing the physical harm against their neighbors and children are people who actually believe strongly in the message, and believe that what they do is right by God, because that’s what their pastor tells them.

    This is a symptom of something that I see as a problem with religion, regardless if it is used in a “good” or “bad” way – some people just don’t question the things that their religious authority figure tells them, even if the things are truly twisted.

    That’s the reason to look at this from a religious perspective and try to combat that kind of thinking. Everything like that should be questioned, but some religions tend to teach that questioning things are bad.

    I don’t care what people believe, if they are followers of Jesus or not, as long as they can question things. These people, the people who hurt their children (or the ones who drink the kool-aid or handle the snakes or get an exorcism instead of a psychiatric evaluation and so on) on the say-so of their religious leader – they evidently do not question. They obey, because that’s what they’ve been taught is right. And that scares me.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    @joni: Every Christian sect thinks they are “the true followers of Jesus.” The Bible does say to kill witches, after all. It becomes a pretty nuanced argument about whether it is “biblical” or not.

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    I wonder if the missionaries that spread their superstitions to these people sleep at night knowing (if they even know) that they are doing such things with their beliefs.

    I would like to hear a theist try and show that these people would have done the same things even if they weren’t christians.

  • http://ourvoices.wordpress.com tish

    It’s too painful to watch.

  • Chika

    This is a generalization… African Christians aren’t a bunch of nut cases “whipping the demons of out children.” The only time my mama ever whopped my behind was for giving her sass!
    This is one man out of many… one who is sick and twisted and takes advantage of the ignorance of his people.
    THIS ISN’T CHRISTIANITY OR CHRIST LIKE!
    @Zabimaru… you said it best!

  • esi

    Chika, y isnt this Christian, god also punished those that didnt follow his beleifs. What is christianity then? Religion in Africa is as much of a dangerous disease as aids.

  • Bekuretsion F

    Hard to believe this happens in Nigeria at this time and age and it is at the command of a christian pastor, probably the devils pastor, to helpless poor kids. I am vey sad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Nobody.JimPalmer Jim Palmer

    please tell me this isn’t real!!! pissed me off.

  • Paul

    In Achebe’s book, Things Fall Apart, christians come into Nigeria and start by setting up church’s on evil ground that the community does not want, and then takes the unwanted of the community (those guilty of various crimes, those of the family of people guilty of crimes, children considered evil eg twins, etc). This parallels that book remarkably, but in a crazier opposite polarization.

  • Pingback: Keep God Out of Africa « Waxing Apocalyptic

  • Somebody

    I’m currently studying traditional African religion and most African cultures also believed in witches and witchcraft far before Christianity came about. Witches were also thought of as evil beings with unnatural power who would cause harm to people. Regardless of whether Christianity helped emphasize such belief is still up for debate, but the idea of witches existing and being evil has been in Africa for a long time.


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