Human beings need to understand the world. It’s how we live effectively within it. When people are sick, we need to know why. In the absence of knowledge, religion capitalizes on that need to slither into our mind. Before we know about depression or schizophrenia, the child is possessed by demons. When we are ignorant, that’s when we begin lashing out inappropriately because we are afraid. And nothing empowers our ignorance, often convincing us that our ignorance is really knowledge, like religion.- JT Eberhard
There are around 50,000 children being held in churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo accused of witchcraft, a BBC film team has discovered.
The documentary explores the increase in the number of children abused and murdered by relatives in the name of driving out demons.
Witchcraft or "kindoki" is a widespread belief in parts of central and western Africa and in the DRC in particular. It is not uncommon for children to be accused of being witches and have to endure exorcisms.
“The boy, whose family were from Africa, had been taken into care by Islington council in north London.
His mother, who no longer had responsibility for her child, asked for him to be sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo for "deliverance".
The boy's family claimed this was necessary because they believed he was possessed by "kindoki" or evil spirits.
Islington social services officials then paid more than £4,000 for an expert to travel to Africa to investigate.
The expert, Richard Hoskins, an academic specialising in African religions, was alarmed by what he saw on the visit, and advised the council that the boy should not be exorcised.
"In one case I met a girl at death's door because the pastor had not let her drink for days despite the tropical heat.
"Children are often shaken, beaten and sprayed with chilli peppers. They are sometimes even cut with razor blades." (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9351306/Social-workers-considered-sending-boy-to-the-Congo-for-exorcism.html
Witch Child video