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Feb 27 2014

Guest post: ‘Kill the Witch’ Miracle Crusade in Calabar

Guest post by Leo Igwe

The world may not have seen the last in terms of the inane witch-hunting campaign being waged by Pentecostal pastors in Nigeria. New christian witch-hunters – pastors and churches – are emerging with force and ferocity. Another ‘Kill the Witch’ miracle crusade has just been announced to take place next week. It will be held in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State in Southern Nigeria.

Nigeria

According to a poster being circulated in the city, the event :”Ikot Ishie/Ikot Ansa Miracle Crusade I AM THAT I AM” is to be held on March 3-5 with a ‘Tarry Night’ on Friday March 7 at AB Martins Field by Ikot Ishie Market in Calabar.

The theme of the event ‘That Witch Must Die’ is a clear indication of what the program is all about – an event to incite violence and hatred against innocent citizens.

The poster has this telephone number ’08161257384′ as the ‘prayer line’. Prophet Bassey J. Udosen is the main organiser while Pastor Zack Orji, a Nollywood actor, and Pastor Larry Koldswaet, one of the actors in Helen Ukpabio’s notorious movie ‘The End of the Wicked’, will be preaching at the event.

Calabar is the headquarters of Helen Ukpabio’s Liberty Gospel Church. Belief in witchcraft is very strong in the city. Vulnerable persons, particularly children, are often targeted and abused in the name of sorcery. The activities of Pentecostal churches and pastors have been linked to the persecution of child witches in the region. Efforts to bring these dark age-minded evangelists to book have proved ineffective as demonstrated in the recent announcement of this ‘Kill the Witch’ crusade.

Church programs that literally say: ‘That Witch Must Die’ expressly undermine efforts to end child witch hunting in the region. Nigeria will not win the war against witchcraft-related abuse of children if it continues to turn a blind eye on church programs like this that sanction the killing of witches.

This is because these programs reinforce the link between misfortune, sorcery, and these vulnerable innocent members of the population. They recharge the superstitious notion that witchcraft is evil and any alleged witch is dangerous to the society, deserves no mercy, and should be killed.

Witch hunting is a traditional practice which has been appropriated by Pentecostal church entrepreneurs in their quest for evangelical relevance and capital.

The theme ‘That Witch must die’ is inspired by the Biblical injunction in Exodus 22.18 which says ‘Suffer not a witch to live’. So, the christian connection to this modern day witch hunt is evident.

A ‘Kill the Witch’ miracle crusade is not an exercise in freedom of religion as many people may think. It is actually an abuse of the right to freedom of religion. Such a crusade promotes witchcraft accusations, which is illegal in Nigeria. It incites hatred and violence against accused persons, which is a criminal offence. Unfortunately, we have yet to see any church or pastor prosecuted for this offence in Nigeria.

That notwithstanding, we shall not let up on the pressure on the authorities in Calabar, Cross River State and Nigeria to take action and bring these witch hunters to justice. We shall not abandon the campaign to protect children from the vicious and virulent campaign of Nigeria’s Pentecostal pastors who are trapped in a medieval mind warp.

We shall continue to shine the light on the schemes of these charlatans who are masquerading as pastors, using churches as fronts and witchcraft belief as a power base to demonize innocent children and exploit poor ignorance members of the community.

So join efforts with us to stop this ‘Kill the Witch’ Miracle Crusade in Calabar. Contact the organisers through their Facebook or Twitter accounts, or better, through the telephone/prayer line contact on the event poster. Let these evangelical con artists know that the world is watching, and will hold them accountable someday.

Witch hunting by Pentecostal churches in Nigeria must stop.

Leo Igwe

10 comments

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  1. 1
    Blanche Quizno

    Before the “Kill the Witch” Miracle Cursade – oops, make that CRUSADE – in Calabar can begin, the prophet and pastors preaching at the event should first be REQUIRED to demonstrate that they have TRUE Christian faith.* Per Jesus’s own statement in John 14:12 (see below), if Jesus exists and is real and is as Christianity portrays Him and these have faith even the size of a mustard seed, they should demonstrate that they can walk on water. After all, JESUS HIMSELF said they’d be able to:

    “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

    If these great spiritual leaders can’t prove the Truth of both Jesus and scripture – and they would do so in one fell swoop through this inspired demonstration – they should be driven out of town and stoned to death.

    * (reference to Pastor Franck Kabele *ahem*)

  2. 2
    grumpyoldfart

    Just like Europe a few hundred years ago.

  3. 3
    machintelligence

    pastors preaching at the event should first be REQUIRED to demonstrate that they have TRUE Christian faith.

    By drinking poison or handling snakes, perhaps?

  4. 4
    voidhawk

    There are few people in the world I would want to see die. Nevertheless, I would gladly host a party to celebrate th demise of Helen Ukpavio .

  5. 5
    busterggi

    And some Christians deny belonging a death cult that demands human sacrifice.

  6. 6
    maddog1129

    No, first REQUIRE them to show that there is any such thing as witches. There isn’t.

  7. 7
    quixote

    What the hell does “I am that I am” even mean?

    I know that’s hardly the most important thing about a deliberate campaign to torture and kill children (children!), but it nags at me every time I see it.

  8. 8
    Katherine Woo

    Just like Europe a few hundred years ago.

    Free advice: Brown people who exhibit the wherewithal to get billboards printed up English have the moral capacity of any other person in the 21st century to know that persecuting “witches” is morally wrong. Babbling about the crimes of white people from centuries ago is just craven nonsense that suggest , intentionally or not, that modern Africans are less capable moral agents.

  9. 9
    Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion

    @7 quixote –

    I believe that’s what god calls itself in the bible, and also begins to explain the popularity of circular reasoning in xian apologetics.

  10. 10
    Gordon Willis

    No, first REQUIRE them to show that there is any such thing as witches. There isn’t.

    They wouldn’t understand that. They know there are witches, and the mere accusation is more than sufficient proof.

    Belief is a strange thing. It’s the meaning of things and you can’t simply reason it away. Belief which is controlled and manipulated by “Pentecostal church entrepreneurs in their quest for evangelical relevance and capital” is going to be an even tougher proposition. The first thing is to arrest the cynical people who are fomenting the hatred. And then, as Boko Haram is well aware, you need years of education.

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