Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Witchcraft in Africa

Liberal readers will remember, and conservative readers will like to forget, Kenyan Bishop Thomas Muthee who visited Sarah Palin's church in Wasila, Alaska in 2005 and, in a prayer service attended by Palin, discussed his spiritual warfare on a witch by the name of Mama Jane. Mama Jane was a powerful figure in Kiambu, Kenya. She was thought to have caused traffic fatalities, crime and spiritual oppression by locals. Muthee had declared that there was not room enough for the two of them in Kiambu. Local townspeople wanted to stone her. When police sought to intervene, they were greeted in her house by a "demon", which they shot. (No word on how old Mama Jane's python snake was...) After being questioned by police, Mama Jane, who evidently was mindful of the idea that even Pentecostals believe stoning is an option for a problem female, let town. Or so it's claimed by Muthee. (There's some evidence that Mama Jane is in fact a rival pastor, Jane Njenga, who is still in Kiambu.)  In the 2005 prayer service in Wasila, Muthee prayed over Sarah Palin, then running for governor, that she be protected from witchcraft.

The whole business of witchcraft in Africa, and in reference to Sarah Palin in particular, became something of a joke. However it's anything but a joke for the people, and especially the children, living in fear in Africa after being labeled witches.

CNN has an article up today on children accused of witchcraft in Nigeria.

The CNN article follows the plight of children rescued by CRARN, the Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network. The abuse heaped upon these children is horrifying. 

You can support CRARN at the link above and join The Pact (Prevent Abuse of Children Today). Read about the harrowing stories of these children here.

© Bright Nepenthe, 2010


  1. Let's not forget Kenya. They've the lovely habit of still burning their "witches."

  2. And then of course there was the interesting case in Congo.

    And in 2009 there was a big roundup in Gambia. Something like 1,000 people. Government roundup, that is. The government rounded up witches. And apparently poisoned them.

  3. It's so horrifying that this mindset still persists in so much of the world. That anyone different or accused can be so hideously treated by their fellow man is just a failure on every level...

  4. Talk about not going the best route to secure the well-being of other sentient beings. Sam Harris is not proud.

  5. This is what you get when a group of people believe something without any evidence whatsoever. Superstition is just plain bad and madness regardless of its source: religion, tribal traditions, fear of others different from you. Just when you start to hope that stuff like the Inquisition is behind us, we see these gruesome acts, for lack of a better phrase. There are more than a few humans who just need to grow out of their backward thinking and see other people for what they are…human beings like themselves; not witches (because there is no such thing), just human beings.

  6. Mitch, I concur that superstition and tribal thinking can lead to all manner of terrible things, just like these attacks on 'witches'. One hopes that better living conditions and education will make inroads...