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Child-witch Branding in NIigeria

In the Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, child-witch branding is a phenomenon ravaging the lives of many children. Parents, guardians and communities are misled into battering, maiming, drowning, burning and abandoning children accused of witchcraft. All this at the hands of church leaders who initiate the accusations of young children and instigate their abuse by heightening people’s belief in witches. Further, they are guilty of carrying out abusive activities believed to dispossess accused children of their witchcraft spirits.

A deep-seated fear of witchcraft cuts across Africa. Among the Efik and Ibibio peoples of the Akwa Ibom state of Nigeria, witchcraft is a common phenomenon believed among the people as the art of bringing magical powers to manifest that which one desires. The powers are often perceived as malevolent and given by spiritual entities. It is commonly accepted that a spiritual spell can be given to a person through food or drink, driving the soul of the person who eats the spiritual spell to leave the body and become initiated in a clan of other witches and wizards. This newly recruited person is presumed to have been given the powers to wreak havoc in the community. More specifically, witches can be bestowed with the power to cause hardship in the lives of other people, including causing death through inflicting diseases like malaria, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, typhoid fever, cholera, and tuberculosis. Indeed, it is generally believed that all the evils which befall human beings are caused by the malevolent activities of witches.

The Irony of a High Level of Poverty in an Oil-Rich Area

Akwa Ibom is a state located in Nigeria’s oil rich delta region, yet the wealth accrued from abundant oil resources does not touch the lives of the local citizens. In fact, there are high levels of poverty affecting the lives of the people. Nigeria’s The Daily Trust reported that the Niger Delta accounts for 35% of the poverty rate in Nigeria. In the face of abject poverty and economic hardship confronting more than 85% of Nigerians living in the midst of abundant resources, people are eager to make meaning of their misfortune. As Sam Itauma, the Director of Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network explains, “if you are not rich and don't have anything to eat, you look to blame someone.”

In addition to problems related to poverty, in Akwa Ibom, the business activities of oil firms have subjected the state to large scale air, land and sea contamination, which in turn, is capable of causing all manner of sicknesses. The people are grossly ignorant of the negative effects of this widespread contamination on their health, and instead, are inclined to link the daily sicknesses, hardship and poverty bedeviling them to other forces.

The Role of Religion

The natural human tendency to want an explanation for one’s own hardship, coupled with the belief in the existence of powers, spirits, and evil forces, implicates religion in this region in Nigeria. Aside from strongly adhering to traditional religion, which supports a deep-rooted belief in the existence and activities of spiritual forces, the people have historically embraced the religious beliefs of early Christian missionaries to Nigeria.

Now predominantly Christians, the people of Akwa Ibom state make up a large share-- 45%--of the country’s total number of Christians. With the increase in economic hardship, sicknesses, and growing ills in the local society, this percentage represents a significant growth in Christianity, especially in the past five decades. Many churches have been newly established, as a result, though most are dominated by spiritualists who promote deep-rooted belief in traditions, customs and practices, alongside belief in more typical tenets of Christian religion. Ignorance and superstition reinforce traditional beliefs that spirits are real and intervene in human affairs. The effect is that people uphold strong beliefs in the existence of God, Jesus Christ, sin and Satan, but also demonic possession, heaven and hellfire, and witchcraft.

Reinforced by a growing number of community hardships, churches have also become solution grounds for people’s multiple problems. It has become a common practice for church leaders to exploit their congregants’ ignorance. A primary way this is done is to satisfy the need for an explanation by branding people witches. The Vanguard quoted a bishop, Sunday Ulup-Aya, saying that, “among Akwa Ibomites, 2.3 million people morph nightly into birds of terror leaving their victims barren, unemployed, deaf, dumb, pauperized, ill, maimed and disorientated.”

Prior to 1998, it was practice, but not too common, to accuse elderly women of being witches responsible for the calamities befalling people. These women were frequently lynched on the streets for the alleged crimes. More recently, it is believed that children are more susceptible to witches’ spells, hence children are believed to be the sought-after targets for initiation by elderly witches. This development heightens fears of witchcraft, leading to an increase in accusations of children as witches. Religious ‘prophets’ sensationally allude to “those of them whose teeth are like graders, enjoying a nightly feast on human kidneys, heart and flesh,” forcing select children between the ages of 2 and 15 to bear the brunt of this ancient superstitious belief. Mr. Ituama, the founder of the Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) emphatically estimates that from 1998 till 2008, on a daily basis, up to five or more children are branded as witches.

Religious profiteering

Some Nigerians see the establishment of churches as a lucrative business, where pastors grow richer and the worshipers grow poorer. In the case of child-witches, this point is convincingly made through the church leaders’ call for deliverance and dispossession of accused children. Parents and congregants are made to pay exorbitant fees for the violent ‘treatments’ by church leaders against so-called child-witches in the name of ‘deliverance.’ A prophet in a church in Ibaka was said to pour a homemade substance—called African mercury, a portion of pure alcohol and blood—into the eyes of a young boy, saying, "I want this poison to destroy the witch right now, in Jesus' name." A woman, Utitofong, was reported to have spent four months' salary on an unsuccessful exorcism of her two baby-girls. Parents are given the option to pay in instalments or perhaps sell their property. Consequently, the more children the pastor declares as witches, the more famous he gets and the more money he can make.

Reverend Helen Ukpabio, a Nigeria’s wealthy evangelist is accused of leading a resurgence of witch-hunting on a massive scale, especially on children in the Akwa Ibom state. She is accused of creating a cloud of witchcraft fear through her film, End of the Wicked, which tells in graphic detail how children become possessed. Worst of all, the film uses child-actors to depict scenes of children being inducted into covens, eating human flesh, and bring about destruction in families. In the Unveiling the Mysteries of Witchcraft, the most controversial of Helen’s written books, she teaches how to identify a witch, saying that the major signs manifesting a “servant of Satan, for children under two years, are crying and screaming in the night, high fever and worsening health conditions.” Thanks to a record of poor health care. These are symptoms that can be found among many children in impoverished regions like the Nigeria’s Niger Delta.

The intervention of NGOs

CRARN, a non-governmental organization formed to rescue children accused of witchcraft in the Akwa Ibom state, was joined in alliance with Stepping Stones Nigeria Child Empowerment Foundation (SSNCEF), a child rights organization established in 2008 in response to the trend of child abandonment arising from the practise of child-witch accusations. With the intervention of these organizations, child-witch issues have become of great concern to Nigerians at home and around the world. While first-hand stories are hard to come by due to protections provided for children by the NGOs that support them and the government, the UK's The Observer published a piece in 2007 that shed light on some of the heart-wrenching stories of affected children; CNN carried similar news in 2010:

Gerry was eight years old when he was picked out at a prayer night and named a witch. His father siphoned petrol from his motorcycle tank and spat the petrol over Gerry’s face, blistering his face severely. Mr Umoh, the Program Officer of CRARN said that before Gerry left the Rehabilitation center, he asked every adult he saw if they would take him home to his parents: 'It's not them, it's the prophetess, I am scared of her.'

Mary was 7 years old when she was brought to the center. It was said that when Mary’s youngest brother died, the pastor of her church told Mary’s mother that the younger brother succumbed because Mary was a witch. “Three men came to my house. I didn't know these men. My mother left the house. She left these men. They beat me.” She pushes her fists under her chin to show how her father lay, stretched out on his stomach on the floor of their hut, watching. After the beating, there was a trip to the church for a ‘deliverance'. The next day she was taken for a walk in the bush with her mother. The men picked poisonous 'asiri' berries that were made into a draught and forced down her throat. Mary’s mother warned Mary that if the berries did not kill her, then she would be hanged with a barbed-wire. Finally her mother threw boiling water mixed with caustic soda over Mary’s head and body before her father abandoned her in a field. Drifting in and out of consciousness, she stayed near the house for a long time before finally slinking off into the bush. Mary was seven. She says she still doesn't feel safe. She says: 'My mother doesn't love me.' And, finally, a tear streaks down her beautiful face.

Prince and Rita were also kept in the home. Rita told her mother she had a dream where there was lots to eat and drink at a party. The belief is that a witch flies away to the coven at night while the body sleeps. Thus Rita's sweet dream was proof enough that she was a witch and because she had shared food with her brother, the way witchcraft is spread, both were abandoned by their parents and were picked up by CRARN.

Marose was seven when her mother dug a pit in the woods and tried to bury her alive, whereas Michael was found by a farmer clearing a ditch. Michael was said to be starved and unable to stand on his thoroughly flogged legs. He was accused of being responsible for the death of his mother.

When Mary was rescued by Gary Foxcroft, the Programme Director of Stepping Stones Nigeria in 2008, she was five years old. By then the CRARN refugee home for witch-branded children already had 150 other residents, all of whom had been blamed for their family's woes and abandoned. Mr. Umoh of CRARN estimates that more than 5,000 children have been branded in the Akwa Ibom area of Nigeria since 1998. “Many bodies of innocent children were dumped in the rivers or in the forest and many were not found.” A report made available by Mr. Edjo, Advocacy Officer of SSNCEF, reveals the following: 105 cases resulted in serious injury on the children; 233 cases resulted in abandonment; 28 cases in which accused children were missing; and five cases resulted to death.

Anthony Ebuk, a human rights lawyer, confirms that many children who were branded child-witches have been murdered, hacked to death with machetes, drowned, or buried alive in attempts to ‘drive Satan’ out of them. He sees these as calculated actions by church leaders, parents, and communities to get rid of them. He says, “it is a herculean task to attempt to rescue these children. Parents sometimes claim ‘this is my child’ and therefore feel the freedom to do anything they like with him or her.” He also shares that in churches, children are tortured. Ostracising children from the community is very common: some children are found wandering in the nearby Abia State. Comrade Nelson of Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development in Abia State, said that more than 50 children of Akwa Ibom state origin have been seen walking aimlessly on the streets of Aba in Abia state.

It is left unanswered why exactly the witch-branding is usually targeted at children of 15 years downwards. Mrs. Imeh, a banker in Lagos and an indigene of Akwa Ibom, says that many families are disintegrating, and the futures of children-- our future leaders-- are being shattered by the phenomenon of child-witch stigmatization.

Government intervention

The attention of the government was drawn to this issue by an accusatory documentary by Mr. Foxcroft of SSNCEF, entitled Saving Africa’s Witch Children. The documentary put the government of Akwa Ibom state on the spot for the crimes against its children, prompting the state to sign into law the Child Rights Act in December 2008. The Child Rights Act protects children younger than 16 years old and ascertains their right to enjoy physical, social and psychological well-being. It also strengthens the mechanisms for the defense and protection of children, as well as criminalizes child abuse. Despite its seemingly thorough terms, Barrister Ebuk reports that implementation of the act is often faulty as judges have thus far failed to prosecute offenders. He says that some attorneys do not even know of the law’s existence in the state.

The Governor of the state, Godswill Akpabio went further to establish a six-person Witchcraft Commission of Inquiry in May 2011. The Commission is mandated to make recommendations on the incidence of witchcraft and child abuse in the state. A government official confirmed for the writing of this piece that the commission is actively investigating cases of child abuse related to witch-branding.

CRARN sees the intervention by government as a relief. Mr. Umoh says that since the inception of the Child Rights Act and establishment of the Commission, child-witch branding cases have decreased in the state. A report made available by CRARN indicates that more than 170 children have been successfully reunited with their parents. Nine children are still at the CRARN center, about 185 children were relocated to the government’s Special Children’s Center, and a good number are cared for at the Divine Children’s Center, an institution also established by the government in conjunction with a private organization. For the children who are still living at the centers, hope still exists that they can be reunited with their parents soon.

To fully eliminate the phenomenon of child-witch accusation and stigmatization in Nigeria, NGOs need to invest in intensified efforts to raise awareness of the issue among the people. The law enforcement agencies must prosecute the religious prophets who derive affluence and wealth from branding innocent children as witches, causing families and communities to all but disintegrate. Unveiling the Mysteries of Witchcraft, and End of the Wicked, two materials
portraying children in the devastating light of a witchcraft accusation, should be proscribed.

This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices of Our Future a program of World Pulse that provides rigorous new media and citizen journalism training for grassroots women leaders. World Pulse lifts and unites the voices of women from some of the most unheard regions of the world.

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Comments

Rachael Maddock-Hughes's picture

Powerful

What an incredible article Celine! I commend you on your strong and passionate piece. I was engaged the entire way through the article. I hope you plan on pitching this article locally and internationally--it is an issue which I am sure not many people are aware!

Kind regards,

Rachael

"In every human heart there are a few passions that last a lifetime. They're with us from the moment we're born, and nothing can dilute their intensity." Rob Brezny

Celine's picture

Re: Powerful

Thank you so much Rachael.
It has been a very long battle with my internet-- posting this piece alone took me more than four hours. I wonder why internet, which most times is our best friend in rendering services, sometimes frustrate our efforts.
What's more? I am happy to have made it, I overcome the hurdles!
Yes, I plan to pitch the article. Even so many Nigerians are not aware of this issue, which is ravaging lives and disintegrating families.

Kind regards dear.

Celine.

Stella Paul's picture

Proud!

Dear Celine

So, after malnutrition, we are one voice against witch hunting also and I believe, we will be one voice against many such evils in coming days, fighting together to eradicate them. On this present story, its complete new issue to me because in India children are not subject to witchcraft. So, you have opened a new door for me. And this reminds me of something I recently experienced.

I was writing a blog on Joseph Kony of Uganda and was doing some research for that; I wanted to find out what has been the stand of the churches on him. My research showed that the churches are either quiet on the abuse of children, or are indirectly favoring Kony - a fanatic Christian, to the point of insanity - and saying he means peace, he needs to be forgiven. That made me feel that churches are not speaking against child abuse. That is in Uganda of course.

But after reading your article, I somehow relate it to that subject. What the churches are doing in Nigeria is wrong, anti-Christianity and for that matter, against all religion as true religion teaches to respect and protect life, not abuse it under any pretext. I thank you Celine for bring it up here. Keep writing!

Love

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Celine's picture

Re: Proud

Dear Stella,

I appreciate your comment on my writing. Yes, Christianity is turned upside down to undo innocent children-- denying them of family care and support by separating them from families, which is the most important institution and has important role in not just nurturing but according protection to the vulnerable groups. Families are dis-united instead of getting united and thriving in peace.

I am happy the issue has attracted the attention of government hence laws are put in place to protect children.

Yes, I can see us speaking more on one voice against ills in our societies.

Enjoy your stay in London.

Celine.

usha kc's picture

Childers are accused of

Childers are accused of witch!!Oh! god, I am first time hearing about such practices. your article totally touched me dear.
Pictures speak the inner feeling of those childern. God bless them.
Thank you so much sister for sharing such serious, and important issue.

bravo!!
hugs

Celine's picture

Yes, dear Sister! Thank you

Yes, dear Sister! Thank you for posting the writing to your FB wall. It will create more awareness.

Hugs,

Celine

revchristie's picture

Saving children and communities

Dear Celine,

I experienced so many emotions while reading this article. First shock, that after so many centuries there are still corners of the world where this specific practice is so rampant. Second, deep sadness for the families and children that feel trapped by the idea of an outside authority determining their value and worth and righteousness. And third I had to pray to remove the rage I felt for those calling themselves religious or christian and harming children at the same time.

The way you have shown the connection to poverty, ignorance and intolerance and these 'witch hunts', helped me see how these 'witch hunts' are also like the excuses we use in this country to remain separate from others and judge them as not worthy of our love and care and compassion.

I respond to this article by expanding my heart to include all those who believe differently than me, to be committed to eradication of hunger, poverty and the other true ills of society. I recommit to being more compassionate and send light, love and healing to all those who would damn another to lift themselves.

My best to you dear one.\

Christie

Celine's picture

Re: Saving children and communities

Yes, it is loaded with emotions. One can read a lot from the faces of the innocent children and some of their comments. One can also wear the shoes of some parents who have these stigmatized children.

Yes, there is a link between poverty, ignorance and belief in things of spirit, which is in conflict with real christian practice. You said it rightly-- people who are revered or are in high positions remain separate from others and pass judgements as if they are God. They deprive others of love, compassion and peace.

Thank you for your good thoughts, Christie; and God bless you for your re-commitments.

Appreciations!
Celine

BlueSky's picture

Shining the Light

Unfortunately, this reality is as you say, cutting across Africa. What a travesty that these pastors and leaders are preying on children, using children to influence their schemes. The weak are supposed to be protected and supported.

Thank YOU for supporting them so strongly by bringing this story into the light!

Celine's picture

Thank you dear Sister. I have

Thank you dear Sister. I have bad internet connection these days-- it constitutes a set-back for me hence my late submission of Module 4 writing and inability to read the feature stories of my colleagues, including yours. I hope to do that gradually as I gain a lot from reading them.

Yes, there is a Child Rights Act and a Commission whose assignment is to investigate activities of these pastors and make recommendations / reports available to the government. The Civil Society Organizations have a duty to follow up on the implementations.

Take care.

Celine.

Lisa T's picture

Thank you for sharing

Celine,

Wow, what a powerful story! Thank you for sharing this with the PulseWire community. I am grateful for having learned about this issue of child-witch branding in Nigeria. I hope your story and message spread to additional audiences.

Best wishes,
Lisa

Celine's picture

Thank you for reading

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for sparing your time to read my story. I am glad you learned about child-witch branding in Nigeria through my writing. I simply hope and pray so.

Regards,
Celine.

Celine's picture

Thank you for reading

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for sparing your time to read my story. I am glad you learned about child-witch branding in Nigeria through my writing. I simply hope and pray so.

Regards,
Celine.

noreens's picture

This is a great article,

This is a great article, Celine......so emotional and informative. Those poor kids - what a waste of innocent lives. Hopefully with articles like yours, people will be more informed and changes will be made.

Noreen

Celine's picture

Thank you Noreen. It is

Thank you Noreen. It is painful how the innocent lives are wasting because of belief in existence and activities of witches.

I pray that changes will be made as soon as possible and people cast their minds away from such beliefs.

Celine.

Okeny-Lucia's picture

Thats absurd for children

Sorry to have this outbursts for the people of Nigeria.It outright madness for children to be accused on witchcraft.What do children know if not being initiated by adults.
This is such an eye opener piece of article.When the UN Charter for Children right stipulates clearly on the guardian and parents obligation,it is seems to be important.Surely what have this children to deserve all this kind of atrocities.
I do hope the government and civil societ intervention will prevail.

Congratulations for this great pics(NB:In future check out on the journalists ethics on minors photos in publicattions)

Lucia Buyanza
Reproductive Health

Celine's picture

Thank you Lucia for reading

Thank you Lucia for reading my post.
Yes, the children are innocent and do not know anything. Government of the state is put on spotlight and the NGOs are really doing wonderful works by drawing attention of the government and pushing to see that the Child Rights Act is put in proper implementation. The government also set up a commission, which is currently investigating all cases related to the child-witch branding.

I tell you: Nigeria is a very vast country with different ethnic groups and diversified beliefs and customs. There are still some ethnic groups in Nigeria-- such as the Igbos who do not believe in the existence and initiation into witchcraft. But those groups have their own customs and beliefs, such as in the 'Ogbanje' or 'Abiku' that sometimes infringe on rights of existence of individuals.

If you read closely you will observe that I acknowledge CRARN for providing the photos. In one of the photos, you can see children carrying placards-- it was during a program publicly organized by CRARN in front of government house.

Thank you Lucia.
Celine

Okeny-Lucia's picture

Thanks for clarification

Dearest Celine,
Thank you for that clarity,and this a very important issue you raised here,it carries some similarities here in Kenya

Lucia Buyanza
Reproductive Health

MaDube's picture

Powerful piece

Dear sis Celine

Your article was so captivating. For someone who has watched quite a few Nollywood movies, the facts of your story sound like one of the scripts of one of the movies. One would think that things like this happen in such movies and not in real life. Sadly, as is the case here, it is all so real. Thank you for bringing to light this terrible practice and I am glad there are organisations on the ground, a legal framework in place and people like you to keep the momentum in the fight against this barbaric practice.

Well done on telling this story in a compelling but clear and concise manner, calling us all to condemn and call for more concrete action from your government to protect these innocent children.

Best,

MaDube

Celine's picture

Powerful piece

Thank you dear sister.

Before now, I used to think that those movies are fictitious but with this issue and many more, Nollywood movies depict realities of people's daily living. You can imagine, if not for the intervention of the NGO, which provided rehabilitation for the refugee children, a lot more should have perished because of prophesies and spiritual beliefs of church leaders.

Cheers,
Celine

mrbeckbeck's picture

Shocking

Well done Celine. This piece is very eye-opening and shocking. My heart aches to hear about so many children enduring this treatment. I like how you gave some context to the story by telling about the world these children and their families are living in-- contaminated by oil industry, without distribution of wealth from the industry.

It's heartbreaking that innocent children would be beaten or even murdered by their parents based on the words of a so-called servant of God. I applaud your government's efforts to stop this problem and hope that more can be done.

Thank you for this great piece of journalism, and I hope you have good luck pitching it for publication!
Best,
Scott

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Volunteer

Celine's picture

Re: Shocking

Thank you Scott! I think giving the context to the story throws light to the background and plights, which result to treatments innocent children endure in this region of Nigeria. It will enable readers and solution-minded individuals and groups understand the environment and think of appropriate ways to handle the issue. It will also debunk on the belief of and attributing predicaments to witches' operation.

Well Scott, I am still exploring avenues and opportunities of pitching it for publication.

Cheers,
Celine

R's picture

Heartbreaking!

Thanks for telling this heartbreaking story in such a powerful, compassionate and solutions oriented way Celine! I had heard of witchcraft being practised in some parts of Africa but I had never before heard about children being BRANDED as witches and then subjected to such torture. I sensed from you a real anger at what seems like a brainwashing of their parishioners by some of the supposed 'religious' leaders. The fact that those poor children are often tortured/murdered or abandoned by their own parents as a result of the abuse of power by these people is nothing short of evil. And how the parents must suffer from sheer terror verging on insanity firstly to make them behave in this way and then even more so, afterwards! Your writing voice is so clear, powerful and passionate...I really hope that you get published in the mainstream media so that this horribly dark problem can be exposed to the light.

Brilliant writing Celine!

Celine's picture

Re: Heartbreaking!

Thank you R for devoting time to read my feature story. I am happy to know that my writing has passed information on this incredible act of parents, which emanate from the supposed religious leaders' bid to extort money from the congregants. This they do by branding children witches and collecting money 'charges' to carry out deliverance 'exorcism' thereby torturing and maiming the innocent children.

Cheers R and thanks for your good wishes and motivating words.
Celine

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Child Witch-Branding

Dear Celine,

Your beautifully written article is indeed heartbreaking. Such gross injustices are unbearable. Thank you for bringing this issue to light and for expressing it so well.

One wants to believe that civilization always moves forward, but of course it does not. The situation in Akwa Ibom is reminiscent of the Salem witch trials in America several hundreds of years ago -- you probably knew that! -- but is all the more appalling for happening now, and to children.

You have opened eyes and hearts with your work, and for this I am grateful to you!

With Respect,

- Sarah

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby

Celine's picture

Child Witch-Branding

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your beautiful comments and for reminding me of the Salem witch trials, I wish my country will come of age-- in terms of civilization-- like America and do away with beliefs, which run contrary to promoting peaceful development, freedom of existence and hinder individuals from thriving and reaching their full potentials. Imagine the termination of lives of innocent children-- who knows what these witch-branded children will become in the future?

Regards,
Celine.

PauletteNYC's picture

amazing story!

Celine,

Thank you for the obvious effort that went into this work! I had the pleasure to review your piece as part of the VOF program. Great job taking such a difficult and sensitive issue and educating us about these atrocities in a moving way! keep up the amazing writing!

All the best,
Paulette

Celine's picture

Re: amazing story!

Dear Paulette,

Thank you for your encouraging words. I feel honored to have you review my piece-- your comment is motivating!
I hope to put in more efforts and for sure - my best in reporting on atrocities been meted out on the unheard groups no matter how challenging the situation. I think by doing this, we contribute to eliminate injustice and also reduce suffering of vulnerable groups around the world.

Regards,
Celine

Cynda's picture

Gripping and powerful

This is an amazing story and so well written. You have great talent and are so needed to give voice to those who cannot speak for themselves - the innocent children. Thank you for your writing.
With Love,
Cynda

Celine's picture

Re: Gripping and powerful

Thank you dear Cynda for your love and encouraging comment. I always appreciate you for your caring heart and motivating gestures. I learn to care for others from you-- just have to use what I have - my talent to give voice to those who have nobody to speak for them.

May the LORD who is so good continuously shower you with HIS love, care and blessings.
Celine.

Vulcana's picture

Praying for the children

Dear Celine -

Thank you for this revealing article. I 'chanced' upon it this evening while doing a 'fun search' regarding witches and Halloween. I was shocked when I came across your work. I had never heard anything about such a thing happening anywhere in the world until i read this. Obviously I missed the CNN report, but I don't watch television, preferring to get my 'news' elsewhere these days.

Learning about the plight of the children was most disturbing. I am, however, not surprised that religion comes into play. So much modern-day distortion of religion has created more harm than we can measure.

I applaud the organizations trying to help the children, but agree that more consciousness-raising needs to occur. I hope somehow I can help with that.

Peace to you and, of course, to these children.

Celine's picture

Praying for the Children

Dear Vulcana -

Thank you for praying for children who are victims of child-witch branding in Nigeria. The plight of these children are incredible much-- some are stoned to death, stigmatized, displaced, dis-oriented, orphaned and face so much hardship.

Thank you once again for volunteering in this area of consciousness-raising. Let's keep in touch.

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