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Apr 19 2012

It never stops

Leo Igwe reports there is a new church in Cross River-Akwa Ibom states in Nigeria that looks set to cause more misery, torture and death with accusations of witchcraft.

 Leo writes:

Recently, the prophetic ministry joined the vanguard of witch hunting churches that are fueling witchcraft related abuse in the region.

In what appears to be a clear and targeted attempt to undermine the progress which government and non-governmental agencies have made in the fight against witch hunting in Akwa Ibom, the church organized in March a crusade tagged ‘Uyo Festival of Fire’ at Ibom Hall in Uyo, the state capital. The theme of the crusade was ‘My Father! My Father!! That Witch Must Die’.

Religion is poison. It doesn’t poison everything, because not everything is poisoned; but it is poison. That billboard is poisonous. It’s demanding the torture and murder of children and other vulnerable people.

8 comments

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  1. 1
    platyhelminthe

    Can someone send this to Karen Armstrong?

  2. 2
    Bernard Hurley

    Karen Armstrong will be too busy being spiritual and signing books for her fans to take any notice.

  3. 3
    Robert B.

    That…

    you…

    On a billboard?

    I knew there were people who thought, “Hey, that little kid? That old man? That random woman I passed in the mall? Anyone who’s mentally ill or just quirky in a way I find irrationally frightening? They should totally be burned alive, or have their heads cut off with a sword, or something.” I knew about those people.

    I did not know there were people who would throw a party to celebrate this practice. (They did not say “conference,” they did not say “gathering,” they did not even say “prayer service,” they said “festival.” It’s a fucking party.) And I certainly did not know there were people who would advertise this disgusting party on a big shiny billboard, which they then put their names on.

    But hey, at least there aren’t any big public signs that say “Atheists.” Because that would be harmful.

    (Yes, I know I can’t blame people in Pennsylvania for things that happen in Nigeria, it’s just. Urgh. On a billboard? WTF, humans?)

  4. 4
    a miasma of incandescent plasma

    It doesn’t poison everything, because not everything is poisoned

    Yeah, true. But it does poison everything it touches, though. But thankfully there’s an antidote – a potent cocktail of reason, skepticism, and science. Take a moment to inoculate your children and the people in your life you love.

  5. 5
    Sastra

    Religion as a whole comes into it because a nonbeliever could no more “prove” (or demonstrate or make a reasonable and convincing case) that there are no such things as witch children than they could “prove” etc. that there is no such thing as God. From the standpoint of a person of faith, both facts are a matter of faith — which means those pesky nonbelievers can be safely ignored. Truths known through the spirit not only don’t have to make sense to those in the world, they can’t make sense to those in the world.

    Such is the mighty glory and power of faith!
    Sure, culture, history, and susceptibility to superstition come into it. But the driving force is the mode of thought, the overall package. Witches use supernatural means to cause cruel and unnecessary harm: how could self protection against such wicked forces be wrong? How could strong counter-measures be unjustified against an enemy whose existence has been justified by such a high and reliable Authority?

    Religion itself then is the problem because the epistemology unique to it can’t be argued against. So you’re left instead with the wonderful prospect of trying to convince people that you understand God better than they do.

    Yeah, that works. Especially when their faith that God exists is so tightly tangled up with their loyalty to their God, their tribe, their traditions, their church, their identity, and their ability to stand steadfast by their commitment to all.

  6. 6
    Aliasalpha

    Do you imagine that any of them ever think (yes I could stop there) “Hey if she was really magic, couldn’t she just magic herself away?”

  7. 7
    LykeX

    @Aliasalpha

    No, you see, the prayers of the faithful prevent that. Incidentally, that proves the existence of god and the truth of the bible.

    And anyone who doubts that is probably also a witch.

  8. 8
    julietdefarge

    Just curious, is there a comparable witch mania in the Islamic sectors of Nigeria? I would assume there is an equal struggle for scarce resources there. I certainly am not saying Christian missionary work is good, but I suspect if there were not the witch mania, there would probably be some other reason people used to get rid of stepchildren and get hold of other people’s property. And, I’m pretty sure the fear of witchcraft predates Christianity in Africa.

    As I always say, no vaccinations, clean water facilities, or other aid should ever be dispensed without mandatory family planning education and free birth control.

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