Thursday, November 13, 2008
Anyone see 'Saving Africa's Witch Children' last night
Saving Africa's Witch Children was shown last night on UK terrestrial TV, and it was one of the most harrowing things I've ever seen.
Nigeria is building up a witch-hunting drive, 'prophets' identifying 'witches' as the cause of more or less any bad event - people getting AIDS, accidents, poverty and the like. For a fat fee, exorcists attempt to drive Satan out of the witches. This involves burning with acid, beatings hard enough to break bones, driving nails through the skull, starvation, cutting with machetes, being chained up for weeks, and all manner of horrors.
The 'witches' are young children.
This kind of moral panic can crop up in any culture; the blood libel one of the oldest cultural archetypes, and people have often been hounded and tormented for it. At the moment, it's murdering children in Nigeria and ripping apart families, while heavily profiting the wolves in sheep's clothing who are selling this poison.
Stepping Stones Nigeria is a charity dedicated to the wellbeing of Nigerian children, and is working heavily to care for kids cast out by their communities, give them medical treatment, a home and an education. If you've got even a small amount of money you feel you could donate, please, think about giving it to them.
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