Ah, Nigerian Christians. These are the same wonderful people who are trying to lecture churches in developed countries about how we should (mis)treat gay people. Yes, let’s aspire to be as good of Christians as these fine folks.
Behind the smartly painted doors pastors make a living by ‘deliverances’ – exorcisms – for people beset by witchcraft, something seen to cause anything from divorce, disease, accidents or job losses. With so many churches it’s a competitive market, but by local standards a lucrative one.
But an exploitative situation has now grown into something much more sinister as preachers are turning their attentions to children – naming them as witches. In a maddened state of terror, parents and whole villages turn on the child. They are burnt, poisoned, slashed, chained to trees, buried alive or simply beaten and chased off into the bush.
Some parents scrape together sums needed to pay for a deliverance – sometimes as much as three or four months’ salary for the average working man – although the pastor will explain that the witch might return and a second deliverance will be needed. Even if the parent wants to keep the child, their neighbours may attack it in the street.
This is not just a few cases. This is becoming commonplace.
Hat tip to reader PM.