Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pagans in South Africa Need Our Help

There are honest-to-goodness witch hunts going on in South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, and other African countries and many end in death. What can we do? Plenty.

From this website:
Witch‐hunts have become epidemic throughout Africa. Although witch‐hunts have historically been viewed as gender specific, with a large percentage of victims still identified as elderly and solitary women, recent reports show that victims of witch‐hunts include both women and men of all ages.
Witch‐hunts on the African continent are largely motivated through localized forms of religious extremism by practitioners of traditional African religions who believe that witchcraft is the cause of misfortune, traditional healers (including diviners, herbalists, 'witch‐doctors') who use various forms of divination to point out suspected witches, and charismatic revivalist Christian religious leaders (pastors and prophets) who use their prejudicial notions of witchcraft as a manifest form of satanic evil to encourage their followers to find (accuse) and convert suspected witches.
The words witch and witchcraft are used predominantly as an accusation throughout Africa, either to describe a number of clearly defined traditional religious practices that do not self‐define as witchcraft, as well as a number of variable urban legends perpetuated by religious leaders and traditional healers to identify women, children and men who are not actual Witches.
In rare instances where alleged confessions of being a witch or practicing witchcraft are made by the accused, reported testimony is either irrational or coerced through torture or threat. The 'witchcraft' most often referred to as accusation, allegation and harmful superstition, exists only in the minds of those who believe that witchcraft is the embodiment of evil and that witches are responsible for misfortune, disease, accident, natural disaster and death. Witch‐hunts occur in almost every country in Africa and they are increasing in occurrence and brutality.
In January 2009 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) released a working report on human rights abuses committed as a result of witchcraft accusations.

So far, 34 people in 2010 have been victims of these witch hunts. They have been burned, hacked to death, had their homes and property stolen and destroyed, shot, imprisoned, and more. These are traditional healers under siege from fundamentalist Christians, most of whom are fueled by missionaries from the United States. Take action by signing the letter at the site above today. Lives depend on it.


  1. there is a real great doc done by CBC about the children in Africa being beaten etc. labeled witches and the towns of outcasts labeled witches .
    this persecussion is happening to other religiouys throughout Africa though we have many Christian African refugees here in our city from Sudan etc.

  2. This is really upsetting. (Have done my little bit as requested, plus posted the links in Oprah.com's message boards.)

    Sometimes I wonder if it is right to go back under a rock.

  3. Is there anything more we can do--like a spell of protection and justice done at a common time for all? If not a spell, can anyone share a prayer or a preyer poem we can use? Mine's rather bare.


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