Yep, Christianity is Growing in Africa All Right, and With it a Revival of Witch Hunts.

Who do you think is doing this? Christians, that's who, evangelicals. This is the mind of the believer where no evidence is required except an accusation:



While Christians boast that Christianity is growing in the Southern Hemisphere and Asia let them also crow about what it's doing too!

40 comments:

christophermencken said...

The primitive thinking evangelicals in my community get upset about Harry Potter books, thinking it's witchcraft. But this Africa stuff is unbelievable.

The idea of witchcraft is hardly new, but it has taken on new life recently partly because of a rapid growth in evangelical Christianity. Campaigners against the practice say around 15,000 children have been accused in two of Nigeria's 36 states over the past decade and around 1,000 have been murdered. In the past month alone, three Nigerian children accused of witchcraft were killed and another three were set on fire.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/18/african-children-denounce_n_324943.html

John W. Loftus said...

christophermencken, here's an easily accessible link to to the Huffington Post article.

Baconsbud said...

You know that the christians here in the states will just ignore these claims. If anyone does say something the odds are it will be that they aren't true christians or that the media is reporting it wrong.

christophermencken said...

Many Christians have a superstitious belief system where people who philosophically disagree with them are sent by their god to Hell. Their god burns them forever, so why shouldn't the humans start what their god will finish?

This activity in Africa is an outgrowth when you superstitiously demonize your opponent.

Luke said...

I think you meant "accept" not "except".

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

I believe there is an excerpt from the Book of Acts whereby those who had previously been practicing sorcery willingly burned their spell books in exchange for the holy spirit that the Apostles brought. God loves sinners - it is backwards to persecute and mistreat others in this way. This is not a sign of faith: "In the past month alone, three Nigerian children accused of witchcraft were killed and another three were set on fire."

Also, just wondering - but what does it mean to be accused of witchcraft? What are the actions that indicate witchcraft and exactly happens to ppl when they have experienced witchcraft? I'd like to know.

John W. Loftus said...

Luke, nope!

christophermencken said...

Hey MMM,
I think you have an interesting question.

But can I ask you a question as one of our resident theists? Do you get the anti-Harry Potter Christian crowd? I don't know if you're one of them, but even if you're not, do you know Christians that get worked up over these books, and can you explain why they do? Apparently it has something to do with getting worked up about witchcraft, which is a little weird to me in modern America (and I think it might get a little at the answer to your original question.) Thanks.

Mark Plus said...

I've often wondered what it accomplishes when christians trot out as role models converts from ignorant, low-status populations noted for making bad decisions. You wouldn't seek advice from such converts about your health, finances or other problems; yet somehow they've magically acquired the authority to tell you about the power of Jesus in their lives. Their conversion just looks like another in a long line of ill considered choices.

It seems to me that christians would get more traction by presenting converts who have a history of good judgment and who ran their lives competently before they "accepted Jesus." Given their better track record, their opinion about Jesus would at least superficially carry more weight.

christophermencken said...

MMM wrote:
Also, just wondering - but what does it mean to be accused of witchcraft? What are the actions that indicate witchcraft and exactly happens to ppl when they have experienced witchcraft? I'd like to know.

from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witchcraft
In Southern African traditions, there are three classifications of somebody who uses magic. The thakathi is usually improperly translated into English as "witch", and is a spiteful person who operates in secret to harm others. The sangoma is a diviner, somewhere on a par with a fortune teller, and is employed in detecting illness, predicting a person's future (or advising them on which path to take), or identifying the guilty party in a crime. She also practices some degree of medicine. The inyanga is often translated as "witch doctor" (though many Southern Africans resent this implication, as it perpetuates the mistaken belief that a "witch doctor" is in some sense a practitioner of malicious magic). The inyanga's job is to heal illness and injury and provide customers with magical items for everyday use. Of these three categories the thakatha is almost exclusively female, the sangoma is usually female, and the inyanga is almost exclusively male.

Cole Houx said...

I think it's sad that this is taking place in the name of Christ. God says: "Vengeance is mine I will repay. Rather if your enemy is hungry feed them."

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Christopher, about this, "But can I ask you a question as one of our resident theists? Do you get the anti-Harry Potter Christian crowd?"

I do not. Jesus gave a personality profile for what He referred to as the sons of hell: these were cleancut, prayerful, charitable, and temple-attending ppl. What's not to like?? BUT< (and this is a big "BUT") there was an ever growing, population of marginalize ppl surrounding them!!! Does this sound like the truth? I've experienced this!

Jesus is not intimidated by humanity in all its varied expressions and I think that is what hurts the most - when professing believers raise offenses or are intimidated by such. Demons are offended by Jesus, not the other way around. He gives them what they want, which is not very much but nonetheless, He was merciful even to them.

At any rate, thx for the reference on witchcraft also! Doesn't sound like a very good lifestyle to embrace - it sounds like those who engage in such could use some very real TLC!

Ciao!
3M

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Oh, edit to my last comment - the inyengas sound like they have good will towards ppl - Jesus used a method for healing that modern day believers might be tempted to take offense at (clay mixed with saliva).....

Piratefish said...

Is that a theocracy there? Are these sanctioned by the government? Or it's basically just a lawless country that allows anybody, and the evangelicals, to do whatever they want? Can anybody tell me a bit more on this? Thanks.

Rob R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob R said...

I posted the wrong thing in the wrong comment section. That's what I deleted.

Double A said...

Take reprehensible acts by humans and blame it on belief in God. Genius? No. New? Hardly. Stale? Yep.

Gandolf said...

"Jesus is not intimidated by humanity in all its varied expressions and I think that is what hurts the most"

I think the bible/faiths suffer a type of schizophrenia.Multiple split pensonalities syndrome, producing the confusion that it does and contradictory actions and happenings.

The bible/faiths themselves always seem to have so many varied expressions.The teachings have hallucinations and varying degrees of emotion and behavior.One moment folks might be being taught not to be intimidated by humanity,next moment a need for shunning, separation and excmmunication etc is being discussed.And then thoughts like "I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword" are thrown into the mix to top it all off, to try make the complete madness hopefully seem maybe its possibly sain somehow.

These witch hunts in Africa are at one end of the spectrum of superstitious madness and abuse, while the psychological fear of hell purging effect maybe is at the other end of the same type of abuse.

Faithful folks tell us they dont like us painting faith with a wide brush,but seems often its more about random luck that separates anything about what happens in between either end of the spectrum of this delusion and abuse.Its not like there is any real rules to this complete utter madness,thats why we have laws for freedom to faith and rights to religious belief to try to hopefully make any of this madness seem legal.(Gods law being the highest judge).

There is always this talk about, oh but thats just not being christian.Yet there obviously is no real easy way to define whats supposedly being christian....History plus all the many differing dominations and christian cults and groups etc we DO have in our world today,is a mighty fine powerful testimony to the fact these faiths are most likely suffering from some type of terrible extreme schizophrenia type teaching.

It simply cant be explained away as supposedly these folks differ so much,because some of them just happen to have chosen to deny god and follow something evil,can it?.Thats bullshit.Thats just such a lame effort of excuse,its lame because its so unlikely.

There is much evidence that even folks in these cult faiths like for instance johnstown,were all honest faithful followers.Honestly faithful they were doing whats right.There was no evidence they were posessed by evil devils or supernatural demons.

Whether fathful folks really like to simply honestly face matters or not.Its true! one way or another use of these faith beliefs traditionally right throughout history have always led many folks right up the bloody gum tree.

Gandolf said...

Double A -->"Take reprehensible acts by humans and blame it on belief in God. Genius? No. New? Hardly. Stale? Yep."


Nigeria is simply chocka block full of reprehensible humans?.

Got absolutely nothing to do with superstition and faith?

Gandolf said...

Naughty Evil Nigerian

Gandolf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gandolf said...

Naughty Evil New Zealanders too :(

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/drownings/news/article.
cfm?c_id=1500867&objectid=10475430&pnum=1

Gandolf said...

Double A said -->"Take reprehensible acts by humans and blame it on belief in God. Genius? No. New? Hardly. Stale? Yep."

Take ancient reprehensible ignorant faith/superstition and blame the ugly nasty effects on Humans ..Pffffttt ! ..What a bloody cop out

Genius? ..NO !! ... New? ..Hardly!...Stale? ..Damm right it is !

Gandolf said...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style
/health/mental_health/article6945170.ece

The problems with therapy


From The Times

December 7, 2009 -->"The group, founded by Nancy Alcorn, an American Christian evangelist who blames psychiatric illnesses and homosexuality on “demonic activity”, has homes in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. It claims it has helped more than 2,500 girls worldwide to overcome depression, eating disorders, addiction and other “life-controlling issues”. It is believed that about 20 young women are now in care in the UK home, which opened in 2006.

Fleming claims that her nine-month treatment — involving intense study of “demonic oppression” — left her deeply disturbed.

------------

What? left her deeply disturbed?..oh no..really??

Silly Girl, she just ought to be thinking herself bloody lucky!,they didnt considder her a witch

This world is riddled with superstitious/faith madness.

Harlan Quinn said...

I'm tracking news articles about the witch hunts going on it africa over at QuIRP. i have a lot of news articles linked over there.

Witchcraft and witchdoctors are deeply embedded in African culture.
Even some of the small countries armies use witchdoctors to cast spells on each other.

zenmite said...

Exodus 22:18 "THOU SHALT NOT SUFFER A WITCH TO LIVE."

Maybe the above verse has something to do with their behaviour. The Hebrew bible is full of these sorts of proclamations and modern christians pick and choose which they believe still applies. The Jehovahs Witnesses take the verse about partaking of blood very seriously. Right wing christians pick out the anti-homosexual verses (with help from Paul). I wonder when some of them will decide to take this verse to heart and go after converts to other faiths?:

"If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods …do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him." - Deut 13:7-12

Double A said...

zenmite - the underlying commandment from God is "do not serve other gods." But the 'kill your brother' crap does not come from God, rather it comes from humans interpreting punishment to 'fit' the supposed disobedience of said commandment. In those days, capital punishment could be prescribed for many different things. It is awful, but it is not mandated by God. Just like in the witch example - sick, twisted human beings are interpreting their atrocities to Godliness. To atheists, this is ammunition against belief in God. But the atheists are being duped. To me, it is a perfect example of how evil works best - disguised as being 'of God'. What better way for evil to catch you in it's trap? Pretend it is 'godly' so that folks turn away from God and claim to be atheistically moral. But I am not tricked. I would never hurt anyone. None of the God-fearing folks I know would do anything remotely like this. There are real connections with God all around you and yet you dwell on the imposters. That is why on one hand I see your points and I agree in so many ways and I acknowledge your great intelligence. But on the other hand you are reacting to things which are not really 'of God'. So that is why none of it truly shakes my faith.

Gandolf said...

Double A -->" crap does not come from God, rather it comes from humans interpreting punishment to 'fit' the supposed disobedience of said commandment. "

So you reject the bible as being divine word of any god ? ..Or just certain parts of it ? .Or what?

And if you try suggesting only certain parts are actually gods word/love/law divine guidence or whatever you would like folks to have "faith" in .

How do we know which parts? ..Do we need "your" spiritual guidence on such decision ? .. Its all very fine you wipeing the slate clean ...And cleansing other faithful, yourself and god etc of all sins,but the (fact remains) these things are actually written and used as suggestive material also within this very same freaky book which HAS been taught as supposedly being "the" divine word of GOD ..For thousands of years now.

Please would you mind explaining a little more "how" do you go about doing your very creative way of calculations for deciding and separating, what abuse you think/feel can and cant be associated to superstition/faith/gods.

You may well be very right, god is only about love or kindness etc.

But that doesnt change the fact these superstitons/faiths have had teachings and books,THAT INCLUDED (suggestive material) of witch killings.Of exorcisms.Of all manner of bigoted and barbaric nastinesses.

Please explain how you suggest its justice that these superstitions/faiths be judged completely guilt free,of the deaths of folks killed as witches or in exorcisms...Or can be thought free of any guilt of involvement of division of families and communities and even countries that often war and kill each other in the belief they do it for the rightousness of their gods right to prevail as "the" god of all gods .

Double -->"Just like in the witch example - sick, twisted human beings are interpreting their atrocities to Godliness. "

Double hopefully you are not a judge in a court of law,are you?.

Seems by your reckoning,you could provide folks with a real fucked up manual about living life, that had all sorts of suggestive material ...Like killing witches,exorcisms,stonings,hating your own parents if need be for god,excommunication and division etc etc etc.A manual that has historically obviously always!,confused everyone so much so! that they still cant even agree even after a couple of thousand years now.

And yet you with such ease of conscience simply throw the blame totally on "sick, twisted human beings"

I personally would fear to be judged by you in any court of law Double.Your judgment to me seems to be totally unjust! and very biased towards giving the benefit of doubt to an old ancient book thats been the death of very many.

Are you sure?? its not more about you being a sick twisted god believer,trying to manipulate things to make it look like it still suits god believing.


If this book was a medical manual with so much suggestive material that led folks to quite often make a complete utter balls up of medication and operations.

Would you still be around saying -->"sick, twisted human beings are interpreting their atrocities to" willfully make a complete utter balls up of medication and operations and are killing folks ?.

Would you be saying, oh no the faith in the professor of medicine, who inspired this suggestive and very harmful medical manual/book/bible,cannot be thought responsible at all for his way of happening to have obviously inspired folks?

I cant help thinking some of these faithful witch hunters might feel a little hard done by,for simply being judged as "sick, twisted human beings"

Sure i agree they are sick and twisted doing what they do!,but i suggest blame for the sickness and twisting belongs more to their faith/superstition and belief of gods.

Gandolf said...

Double -->"There are real connections with God all around you and yet you dwell on the imposters"

Yes yes...Simply dwelling on the imposters thats what lost ahtiests do ... .Like dwelling on the Benny Hinns and Freeflo the Dollar types who fleece folks of their hard earned cash ..Or those who have multiple wives,often old men treating young women as objects of posession....Or those kind faithful who refuse medication in preference of faith and prayer,even at the cost of their own flesh and blood...Or those who hide in caves in the snow with children in great danger of death,for faith in some prophesy...Or the god hates you America god gang ...Or the many many differing alsorted johnstown type cults ...Or the many less abusive dominations that only divide and excommunicate families over faithful rightousness etc.Or the ones hateful of Islam, or the Islam hateful of those not of Islam etc who dont seem to really mind so much if war happens.

Yes yes ..we atheists must be simply dwelling on the very few imposters.

Double A said...

Gandolf. It is the divine word of God. The quote from Deuteronomy really was real ...but there is historical context. First of all, it is not God's voice saying "kill him" (as in, your brother), rather, it is rulers of the time indicting such punishments for breaking God's laws. It is not God's fault that the punishments of the day were ridiculously harsh and followed through with by ignorant people. Gosh, if you can't grasp that, I just don't know what to tell you. Other than you are blocked by a whole lot of (well-reasoned) stigma toward Christianity.

Double A said...

No, you don't need my 'spiritual' guidance. If you knew me at all you'd know that I dam not presumptuous. But condescending me by casting me as some sort of 'know it all' is typical.

Double A said...

Wow, Gandolf. You're are enraged. So let me get this straight: I said people who are killing children and calling them 'witches' are sick, twisted human beings ...and you are disagreeing with me? ...and calling me judgemental? Holy crap, you just blew my mind.

Double A said...

I did not say 'very few' imposters. You are so very correct in your last post Gandolf. It really does tear my heart but I'm sorry ...those examples are all hopeless souls abandoned of God yet claiming His fruits. That's my opinion. That's what I believe. That's not my 'proclamation'. I'm not some spirit. I'm not some prophet. I'm a sinner. A man. And I believe in God.

Gandolf said...

Double A said -->"Gandolf. It is the divine word of God. The quote from Deuteronomy really was real ...but there is historical context. First of all, it is not God's voice saying "kill him" (as in, your brother), rather, it is rulers of the time indicting such punishments for breaking God's laws. It is not God's fault that the punishments of the day were ridiculously harsh and followed through with by ignorant people. Gosh, if you can't grasp that, I just don't know what to tell you. Other than you are blocked by a whole lot of (well-reasoned) stigma toward Christianity."

Double -->"It is divine word of god.But its not gods voice."

1-1=0

Yes Double, i do admit this is hard to grasp, but only if i try matching it to equal god is real.

I grasp the fact its not gods voice,i understand faiths and faith books are based entirely on thoughts of mere superstitious ancient uneducated man and some history etc.

But i dont grasp how you seem to suggest it can somehow work both ways.IE ..be thought divine, yet not gods voice.

God is god .Gods knowledge supposedly is immense.God is supposedly unchanging,which sounds likely seeing he supposedly always knows everything.

So god would not likely ever divinely suggest killing witches etc if it wasnt really a godly thing to be doing.History/time doesnt make killing witches any more rightious!,it was no more rightious to kill witches back then, than it is now.

So how can the bible ever be said to have been divine and be anything of god ?.If it was god would have simply (divinely) said/passed on to man, dont kill witches.

Killing witches surely is not such a great thing to even (include in gods devine manual of life) is it?,if it was always evil and wrong.Why didnt god divinely say to man, look take that killing witches rubbish out of my life manual...If you leave that rubbish in my book,it will likely lead some followers to wrongfully kill witches.

I just dont really stand to good reason does it Double?.

It dont stand to reason, until we admit it was actually only mere mans thinking.

Double -->"Wow, Gandolf. You're are enraged"

No not enraged at all.Im just not ready to join you in judgement of those witch killers.

Yes i do agree with you, what they did was sick and twisted .

But im understanding their actions and mental head space was effected and formed by reading and following a gruesome nasty thoughtless barbaric ancient book called the bible.A book thats been deceitfully promoted as divine word of god,for thousands of years now and over history has caused people to cause the death of many many folks including those that were wrongfully accused as witches.

Now you are welcome to believe in gods, and follow nasty books written by deceitful men suggesting they possess divine word of gods.

I do suggest you choosing to do so,helps promote this nasty deceitful book further.I do suggest you being involved in promotion of this deceitful book and belief helps the chances of all manner of these barbaric practices to keep happening from time to time.

If me suggesting that happens to enrage you...Well maybe its your conscience ? ...Maybe underneath your anger you really know what im suggesting, actually sounds quite honest and holds lots of truth about this matter.

Gandolf said...

I honestly dont do it to try to purposely offend you my friend.

I do it because i also have experienced the abuse that these deceitful books and beliefs,do all to often promote.I do it because i care about doing anything im able to do to help in stopping this nasty ignorant barbaric ancient cancerous scurge on society.I do it because even though im a agnostic/athiest ,thoughtless undeserved hardship and loss human life still means something to me.I do it because i value human life and will not stand by quietly in silence any more,while religion/faith/superstition continues to ruin many folks lives on this earth because of the bliss and ignorance and selfish selfcentred thinking of those who still willfully continue to promote it.

As a agnostic/atheist im not against possibilities of any gods there might be.Should this god/s decide to show him/herself, making it then possible for humans to deal in "complete truth" ,instead of mere guess work and dishonesty....I would then be quite happy to follow god/s.

Im simply against the many deceitful suggestions of gods that have never had any decent proof or evidence.Im against the very many ways this "guess work" and "deceit" has ALWAYS detrimentally effected humanity.

Peace out Double! ..My beef is with the faith ...So please dont take it to personal.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Gandolf --- you clipped my comment - "Jesus is not intimidated by humanity in all its varied expressions and I think that is what hurts the most"

What I wrote was continued like this: "I think that is what hurts the most - when professing believers raise offenses or are intimidated by such. Demons are offended by Jesus, not the other way around."

Okay, bye!
3M

Double A said...

So Gandolf riddle me this. How come I don't understand the bible to be telling me to kill witches? And also, does the bible give those people who are killing 'supposed' witches clear instructions on how to identify witches as witches? And are they following the directions?

Furthermore, the divine word of God, in my opinion, signifies the truth. It does not signify that everything written about in the bible are/were actions which God condones.

I feel you are being small-minded because you have built a very large index of stigma toward Christianity, with very good reasons for doing so. In no way am I suggesting you are 'easily fooled', but I am suggesting that you are fooled.

Gandolf said...

Double -->"In no way am I suggesting you are 'easily fooled', but I am suggesting that you are fooled"

Hey Double my friend .Im only likely to ever let folks calling me a fool,worry me that much,if its likely quite possible its actually true.

Do you honestly think there is actually absolutely no good reason why many faithful folks get a little upset, about being suggested by many as maybe being deluded and ignorant and bigoted etc.

How often do you see a skinny person getting really upset, about being suggested to be fat.Or how many very honest folks do you know,that really worry themselve sick about a few folks suggesting they might be dishonest.

Feel free to suggest ive been fooled,like i said im pretty thick skinned.Mostly these days i only tend to worry about stuff that really needs worrying about.

I dont even mind being suggested as small minded and suggested as simply just having "built a very large index of stigma toward Christianity".

Because to do so in my honest opinion. I feel it actually takes some small mindedness in actually (overlooking) the very large index of very dangerous and disgusting factors, that christianity and faith in general, factually has always often scurged our societies and even indeed countries with.

If it wasnt honestly and so obviously so, the faithful wouldnt even posess any good reason to actually be feeling so uncomfortable these days about it all,would they?....Do your own math Double

Double --> "riddle me this. How come I don't understand the bible to be telling me to kill witches?"

Double i will explain it by trying to use a, if the bible were a medical manual type analogy.

A faulty medical manual might still be able to be used to pick certain bits out of without causing harm.If one happens to be (lucky enough) to be advised properly or be around a (very experienced cherry picking) medical professor,who knows whats not to dangerous to use.Or knows whats rubbish, or knows how to decipher a uneducated poorly written confusing attempt somebody dreamed up for a medical manual.Then maybe its a little safer.

But that dont do anything to change the fact that the manual has in fact proved itself! to not really be anything devine.It dont change the fact that (time and time again) the book has historically proven it actually leads and has led a whole lot of people right up the gum tree!.Killing and harming many people in the process.

Gandolf said...

Double --> "does the bible give those people who are killing 'supposed' witches clear instructions "

Clear instructions? ...Double dont you realize thats been the problem many of the instructions were rubbish and many of those that were not were confusing as hell anyway...Seeing the book was thought of by (mere man) and was obviously (nothing devine)..and certainly not any work of a all knowing unchangable god.

It has not really had many clear and unconfusing instructions has it .The many splits even just within the (dominations alone) is proof it wasnt devine or unconfusing. And also the many devides within families societies and even countries and death pain and harm and suffering war etc it caused,suggests it ever so much more unlikely gods were ever involved that much in human faith.

It is infact (clearly instructing) us its proved itself to "obviously" have been almost a total failure.

And as long as folks dont admit it! wasnt devine word of god.As long as folks (dishonestly) keep promoting it! as possibly being word of god.

Seeing we cannot be sure there will always be some specialist medical professor around to help decipher the good bits apart from the bad bits.

(Sooner or later some fool will end up picking the book up and end up hurting people.)Its a timebomb waiting to be set off.

Whats even worse we humans have made this danger ever so much more dangerous..By issueing deluded folks of faith (rights to special laws of religious freedoms).Its really almost been equivalent, to how silly it would be issueing all school children with gun licences.

Double A said...

Very well taken reply, Gandolf. The bible can be a dangerous tool in the wrong hands, causing senseless murder and antagonizing atrocities. Not good fodder for my argument that a great God exists!