I have just finished watching one of the most disturbing and upsetting documentaries that I have seen in a long time.
The documentary “Saving Africa’s witch children” was about the work of Gary Foxcroft a 29 year old English guy who with an organisation called Stepping Stones is attempting to rescue children in Nigeria who have been accused by evangelist Pentecostal preachers of being witches and wizards.
The film showed many of the children that had been rescued and told how in certain parts of Nigeria children are regularly starved, abused and beaten after being accused of witchcraft and are then, if they are lucky, simply abandoned by their parents. In many other cases children had been physically maimed for example with acid and in some cases their parents had tried to bury them alive after their communities had rejected them because of the witchcraft accusations.
One clip showed the director of the Stepping Stones Project trying to take a young girl back to her village community only to find the villagers threatening to machete the girl if she remained.
This appalling treatment of children, some of whom were no older than three months old, appears to stem in large part from the preaching of a certain Mrs Helen Ukpaibo and evangelist and self proclaimed fighter against witchcraft who appears to hold great sway in parts of Nigeria. Her Church – the Liberty Church – produced a film about child witches which was seemingly widely circulated and has resulted in this wave of horror against innocent children.
I have looked up some initial links about or to this woman and you can read about the issue for yourself. They may not be the best links available and I haven't read them in depth as I haven't much time just now to undertake a more comprehensive search.
An interview with Mrs Upkaibo?
Helen Ukpabio's own site
A blog article with comments on the issue