The indispensable Leo Igwe, an African rationalist and human rights activist who was at The Amazing Meeting recently, is drawing attention to yet another crusade at a Nigerian Pentecostal church that might well incite another round of attacks on “witches.”
On July 27, a local Pentecostal church is planning a ‘crusade’ at the Cultural Centre in Calabar in Cross River State. The theme of the event is: Koboko Night: My Father My Father That Witch Must Die.The same church has, in March, organized a similar event in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.
Akwa Ibom is another state where witch belief is strong and witchcraft related abuse is common and widespread. The activities of churches and prayer houses have been linked to the problem of witch hunting in the region.
Once again I want to draw the attention of the authorities to the activities of this church and other churches in the region that are fueling witch hunting in the name of spreading the gospel.
[..]the theme of this crusade is literally inciting, and could lead to an upsurge of witch persecution and killings in the region. The title Koboko Night implies torture and abuse of any alleged witch. This could cause some people to go home and start beating up their children or aging parents whom they suspect of witchcraft.
And then adding ‘That witch must die’ makes it more horrifying. It clearly sanctions death and execution of any alleged witch. This clause alone can cause people to murder or commit atrocious acts against family or community members whom they believe are witches.
Untold numbers of people, especially children, have been killed in many countries in Africa because of such crusades.