If a child under the age of two screams in the night

I didn’t realize Helen Ukpabio was in London, but she is, or at least was last week, according to the Independent.

“Lady Apostle” Helen Ukpabio, founder of the controversial Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries, is believed to still be in the capital after addressing three gatherings last week.

The born-again Christian Pentecostal preacher claims to have been betrothed to Satan as a teenager before being rescued from a cult at the age of 17. She now specialises in liberating captives in “deliverance sessions” that critics claim are little more than crude exorcisms.

Among her advice to parents is the suggestion: “If a child under the age of two screams in the night, cries and is always feverish with deteriorating health, he or she is a servant of Satan.”

Spot the problem there? Of course you do. Any child under the age of two is likely to scream in the night or cry, and if you tell people their children are “servants of Satan”…you’re putting those children’s lives in danger. That’s all children under the age of two put at risk.

Campaigners say such beliefs, prevalent in some parts of the developing world, can put children’s safety at risk. They have written to [Home Secretary Theresa] May to urge that the pastor be banned from the UK after the current tour.

In the letter, the Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network (WHRIN), the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales and the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) cite the cases of Victoria Climbié and Kristy Bamu as examples where witchcraft beliefs played a role in the  horrific torture and murder of children.

And many cases in Nigeria, home to Helen Ukpabio. Mind you, if she’s not in London she’s in Nigeria, and she’s lethal in either place. Really she should be made to stop, not to stay home. Free speech; no; fingering people as witches is lethal.

H/t Leo Igwe


  1. Blanche Quizno says

    Wow. If your child under the age of two is screaming in the night, that child needs to be sleeping with you in your bed until s/he decides s/he prefers to sleep separately.

  2. iknklast says

    My child cried in the night when he was under two. He grew up to be an atheist. Case proven. (With purely anecdotal evidence and unwarranted assumptions)

  3. mildlymagnificent says

    If your child of two years or less screams in the night, you seriously need to reconsider your bedtime lullabies or reading material or change your family’s entertainment choices. Nightmares will go away. Or, just maybe, you might check their temperature or teeth or their ears for irritation or inflammation.

    Of course, you could always just be your child’s protector and comforter and give them a cuddle.

  4. yahweh says

    Many parents are adamant about the necessity of leaving children to “cry it out”, and have been for millenia, whether its a gentle graduated approach, or a straight forward close the door and leave them (e.g. as compared here). I’m pretty sure that many commenters here wholeheartedly approve of some variant of these approaches. It is the adamance (if there is such a word) which is the giveaway.

    I don’t think this case is really any different. It’s far more revealing of the helpless (parental) anger which underlies it all than the more sophisticated accounts like those of Ferber and Weissbluth ever would be, but there’s no real difference – either in cause or effect. The religious claptrap is just one of a thousand rationalisations which gets layered on top.

    Mote, eye, you know the rest.

  5. opposablethumbs says

    Every child in the world under two and 99% of children over two will scream and cry in the night sometimes, and will be ill sometimes. It’s hard to know what to say about how dangerous this bullshit is.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong – I think the site to click in order to try and help is this one:


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