Here’s another story about the abuse of children by religious leaders. The children in the story, shown above, have been accused of being witches and wizards by a Christian pastor in Nigeria. As of now 150 children live in a camp set up just for them and they’re the lucky ones. They’re alive. Many of the other children accused of witchcraft have been murdered.
The devil’s children are “identified” by powerful religious leaders at extremist churches where Christianity and traditional beliefs have combined to produce a deep-rooted belief in, and fear of, witchcraft. The priests spread the message that child-witches bring destruction, disease and death to their families. And they say that, once possessed, children can cast spells and contaminate others.
The religious leaders offer help to the families whose children are named as witches, but at a price. The churches run exorcism, or “deliverance”, evenings where the pastors attempt to drive out the evil spirits. Only they have the power to cleanse the child of evil spirits, they say. The exorcism costs the families up to a year’s income.
The ring leader, of course, denies that stating that children, some as young as three, can be possessed by invisible beings from an imaginary place could lead a parent who can’t afford her “cure” to abuse their child.