There has been much written recently about the lunacy that is the accusations of child witches throughout Africa (well much written by the atheosphere at least). Recently one of these 'witch hunters' came back to the US to talk to American church congregations. Her name is Helen Ukpabio and at a Houston church she talked about the 'good' she was doing. In Nigeria, her home country, she has been going around telling people of the dangers of child witches. She espouses such idiocy as "if a child under the age of 2 screams in the night, cries and is always feverish with deteriorating health, he or she is a servant of Satan." Wait...so if a young child is sick and in pain...that means they have the devil in them? Unless I'm mistaken, wasn't there some talk a while back about this germ theory of disease?
What is sad is that people over here in America are just eating it up as if she is doing some good. After all, there have been many missionaries from the states to parts of Africa who have fueled other such child witch hunts. I just have to ask how deluded does a person have to be to think that convincing families to abandon, torture and kill their own children and then get all the neighbors in on it is a good thing. When people do stand up to her and call her out on the atrocities she is enacting, she waves the criticism of by saying that it simply doesn't happen. Despite the fact that people have video and photo documentation of these events and recorded statements by the families who have abused or killed or allowed for the abuse or killing of their own children. When pushed to answer for this she simply answers that the reason she knows that it doesn't happen is "because I am an African!" and "family ties are too strong to have a child on the street.” Thankfully because of international outrage at such events, the Nigerian government has enacted laws against anything that fuels the hunt for child witches. What might be Helen Ukpabio response to these laws? Well, she has decided to sue the government for infringing on her freedom of religion. I'll wait now for the the readers to finish with the requisite facepalm.
Thankfully more and more people are seeing Ukpabio's actions for what they are, money scams. Religion is big money in Africa. Even though the continent is wracked by poverty, people will put what little money they have at the feet of people promising salvation and religious answers to their problems. The populous is already used to accepting superstition as is seen in any region with a low education rate. So the spread of religious superstition is only natural. Missionaries have found that the more they grandstand, the more horrible and aggressive their message, the larger their congregation will be. With larger congregations comes more money. It is all about competition for the most money in an environment where churches and roving preachers are popping at every turn. Fear sells and in the game of religion the most terrifying talk and proselytisations are the most successful social parasites. This is exactly what they are, parasites, draining the poor of what little funds they have and only doing harm in return. There is no mutualism in this relationship, it is strictly about who can take the most.
But as long as religion is given a special place and people flock to it out of fear and ignorance, such atrocities as burning children alive, burying the beaten but still breathing, the maiming with knifes and acid, or just the simple abandonment of children onto the uncaring streets will continue to be commonplace. Only when enough people, freethinkers and theists alike, stand up to the voices of unreason and fear mongering can we even begin to hope to live in a world where such vile people as Helen Ukpabio are not only ignored by the masses but receive a retaliatory volley in response to their venomous lies.