I had written earlier about Congo being the most unsafe place in the world for women. Let me add children to the list too. Children are being looked upon as unnecessary burden. Families accuse their children of being witches and throw them out onto the streets. It is even worse if it is a girl child because once they are thrown out onto the streets; they are raped and forced into prostitution.

Earlier, families used to accuse older members of being witches and throw them out, when they no longer were useful. With non-existent economy and the civil war still ravaging, children are being viewed as un-necessary burden. Hence, witchcraft is used as an excuse to get rid of them.

Congo being one of the poorest nations in the world, has spawned corrupt Christian pastors who are making a quick buck by performing brutal and mentally scarring exorcisms. Please refer to this ABC News article that chronicles in details the horrific rituals, both in print and video.

According to UNICEF, 70 percent of the 20,000 street children in Kinshasa have been accused of being witches. Most of the families living in Congo have experienced, at one point of time either death, divorce, rape and sometimes all of them. Out of desperation and belief, when they turn to God for deliverance the corrupt pastors mislead them by accusing the children in their family as the root cause for their evils and that they are witches.

It is a costly deliverance too as the pastors’ charge anywhere between $50. It gets worse when families cannot afford the costly exorcism and they resort to beating, burning, starving and in the extreme cases – murder their children. The ordeal does not enc there for families who can afford such barbaric rituals. The children, who are exorcised, are often thrown out of the house as they appear to be tainted in the eyes of their family members.

The Congolese government is of the view that it is legal to accuse children as long as there is proof. All it takes for a child in Congo to be labeled as a witch is to have big eyes, black eyes or a bulging tummy.

I was wondering how much worse it could get. In the near future, will I be writing a blog post on cannibalism in Congo? If parents are desperate enough to throw their own children out on to streets, then the time wouldn’t be far away when we might hear about parents devouring their own children! Maybe I have watched too many horror movies.

Please visit the following links for more details on the horrific witchery that is ravaging Congo:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1130/p12s01-woaf.html
http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=7613395
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-01-30-congo-children_N.htm

A quick Google search would throw up many more horror stories.

TIA – This Is Africa, the cradle of our civilization. What went wrong?

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