Anorak | Witchcraft In The UK And African Churches: Children Are Murdered When Exorcism Fails

Witchcraft In The UK And African Churches: Children Are Murdered When Exorcism Fails

by | 9th, October 2014

THE Sun has an interesting story on witchcraft in the UK:

HUNDREDS of British tots are victims of ritual abuse by parents convinced their child is possessed, police said yesterday. The Sun told on Tuesday how people in South London performed a 4am exorcism on a toddler.

In another case outlined at the Met’s Witchcraft and Spirit Possession event, a youngster was starved, beaten and caged as the parents feared evil spirits would jump from the child. One victim told how her aunt force-fed her for being a witch.


And not at all far-fetched.

In 2010, Uganda’s Minister for Ethics and Integrity James Buturo appealed for help. The  report :

He appealed to religious leaders regardless of the difference in faith to spearhead the campaigns to wipeout witchcraft and homosexuality in the country.


Exhibits Officer DC Mark Ham holds up a pair of children's shorts during a press conference at New Scotland Yard in central London. Police believe the shorts, which were found in the river Thames, may be connected to the murder of a young boy. * ... whose torso was found in the Thames near London Bridge. A world expert in African ritualistic murder was travelling to Britain to join the hunt for the killer of a boy whose torso was found in a river. Detectives hope forensic pathologist Dr Hendrik Scholtz will be able to shed new light on the death of the five-year-old, whose severed body was discovered floating in the Thames. Officers believe the boy could be the first person in the UK to die in a "muti killing of a kind known to have been practised in South Africa". The killings are done by witch doctors who use the victim's body parts for black magic potions. Dr Scholtz, from the Gauteng health department in South Africa, was heading to London ahead of a second post-mortem, which he will carry out. 02/07/03 : Police have arrested a 37-year old Nigerian man in Dublin in connection with the murder of the unidentified youngster who has been named Adam. Detectives fear the youngster, believed to have been between four and seven, was brought to London and killed as a human sacrifice.  Ref #: PA.1527996  Date: 25/01/2002


In April 2014, Channel 4 News  had news of Helen Ukpabio:

A controversial Evangelical Christian and “witch hunter” arrives in the UK in the hope of performing exorcisms on children. But in Nigeria witch scares have resulted in violence, torture and death. The founder of the bizarre Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries has been accused of exploiting superstitious beliefs around demonic possession and endangering children. …She offers “deliverance” sessions, crude exorcisms which have been accused of fuelling witchcraft accusations against children in Nigeria.



That was followed by the BBC Three documentary Branded a Witch , in which we saw a teenage-aged girl who had “eaten her mother”. We heard a pastor say of she and another child:

These two children have bad works inside them. The Holy Spirit has revealed that these kids have been possessed by witchcraft. Others haven’t eaten anyone yet, but this one, she ate her mother. The Spirit is like the wind, it is not something you can see.

One boy at the church explained that deliverance had cured him of bed-wetting.

In this Monday, June 11, 2012 photo, a headstone marks the grave in Nweli, South Africa, where Benedict Daswa is buried. Daswa, who was born Tshimangadzo Samuel and raised in a traditionalist South African family, changed his name when he became a Catholic. The Catholic schoolteacher, revered for his good deeds, honesty and compassion, was also a fierce foe of the witchcraft widely practiced here. When a lightning bolt struck the village and Daswa resisted the elders' call for hiring an exorcist, he was chased into a pub and beaten to death. Twenty-two years later, his memory is still so revered that he has been nominated as South Africa's first saint. The Vatican is studying the application. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell) Ref #: PA.14037456  Date: 11/06/2012



One boy, a ged 5, was the carrier of a “witchcraft telephone”. To release the phone, the boys was beaten, force-fed hot palm oil, starved for three days, and given a palm-oil enema and not allowed to urinate. The female pastor opined:

“It’s going to be like that because when you are hitting him like this, his going to feel pain because the thing that has been placed in him is being removed and when it’s being removed he has to feel pain, because it’s a foreign object in his body. So of course he will cry. The Holy Spirit will look at him and see he really has witchcraft, that he has already started killing people and he has started drinking people’s blood.”

Another pastor offers:

“I am not afraid of anything. I don’t think God would let someone come and arrest me.”


Sita Kisanga arriving at the Old Bailey. Two women and a man were found guilty at the Old Bailey today of cruelty to a girl who was tortured and threatened with death for being a "witch". The orphan was beaten until she was made to admit she had been doing witchcraft and is still traumatised by the experience. The girl, who is now 10, was brought to Britain in 2002 by her 38-year-old aunt after her parents were killed in Angola. The 38-year-old aunt, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of four charges of child cruelty. Sita Kisanga, 35, another relative, of Hackney, east London, was found guilty of three charges of aiding and abetting child cruelty. Kisanga's brother Sebastian Pinto, 33, of Stoke Newington, north London, was found guilty of one charge of aiding and abetting child cruelty. The three were remanded in custody and were warned by Judge Christopher Moss that they faced jail sentences. Ref #: PA.2431167  Date: 03/06/2005



In Benin, child witches are murdered:

The killing is done by an elder. He takes the child into the bush and he kills it there. It is not done in the village. The practice goes on where the Bariba are. But no one will tell you who is doing the killing. Noone will tell you that such and such a person is the one appointed to kill the child. But there is always someone in the community who is old and spiritually powerful who does the killings.


This combination of tradition and Church is in the UK.

A 2010 Channel Dispatches  documentary  on “Britain’s witch-children” was chilling.   Debbie Ariyo  of  Africans Unite Against Child Abuse , said only  “the tip of the iceberg” has come to light.

The blurb :

Dispatches goes undercover in some African churches in the UK, where evangelical pastors perpetuate a strong belief in witchcraft. They preach that some people are possessed by evil spirits, and that these spirits bring bad luck into the lives of others. The only way to rid the possessed from the witchcraft spell and lift their curse is to ‘deliver’ them: a kind of exorcism that can be very traumatic. Some pastors charge significant sums of money to perform these deliverances.

Often it is children who are denounced as witches by these pastors, and this labelling can lead to the physical and emotional abuse of those children at the hands of their families. In extreme cases it has led to the deaths of some children. In parts of Africa, branding a child a witch is now outlawed, but in Britain this practise is perfectly legal, despite the fact it can have horrific consequences. Dispatches reveals just what goes on behind closed doors in these African churches, exposing the pastors who exploit the religious beliefs of the most vulnerable.



The Independent  quoted Joe Aldred:

There are more than 4,000 African churches in Britain, serving half a million people. “At the moment you can set up a church anywhere, any time … in the same way we wouldn’t tolerate somebody setting themselves up as a lawyer or surgeon without proper training and regulation, we shouldn’t expose the souls of people to anybody who happens to think they can set up a church,” said Bishop Dr Joe Aldred, secretry of minority ethnic Christian affairs at Churches Together in England.


Some, of more than 200 elderly people, who took part in a procession in Nairobi, Kenya, Monday, Sep. 28, 2009 to protest against neglect by their society ahead of the United Nations International day for older persons which is held on Oct. 1 every year. The elderly people complained they lacking finance to access health care, food and medicine after being abandoned by their families. The also protested against the burning on a stake of dozens of elderly people (in their 70 and 80's) by superstitious youths in the Western Kenya town of Kisii who accused them of witchcraft.(AP Photo/ Khalil Senosi) Ref #: PA.7863878  Date: 28/09/2009




But the chuch is powerful.



This Aug. 18, 2009 photo shows Nwanaokwo Edet, 9, whose father forced him to drink acid days after the family's pastor denounced the child as a witch, lying in a hospital bed in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. He died from his injuries one month later. Edet was one of an increasing number of children in Africa accused of witchcraft by pastors and then tortured or killed, often by family members. Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of "witch children" reviewed by the Associated Press, and 13 churches were named in the case files. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)


In 2009, we read of Edet Nwanakwo, whose father had made him drink acid. (Full report  here ). Nwanakwo died. Sam Ikpe-Itauma of the  Child’s Right and Rehabilitation Network  (CRARN) in Akwa Ibom State  reported :

His sin is the acceptance to an invitation to attend a prayer meeting with a church in Urban [var. spelling “Oban” RB],

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