Warehouse C
African Witch Hunters
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Suffer The Little Children Unto Jesus

By James Donahue

The Christian missionaries began hacking their way into the jungles of the Congo, in Central Africa, and converting the natives there in the 1960s. Today the fruit of their work has risen up out of the steamy forests in the form of a monster too terrible for even the Christian media to admit is there.

The old witch doctors have donned suits and today, in the new name of church pastor, they are hunting demons which they proclaim are inhabiting the bodies of the children. They make their living exorcizing these demons, often at the expense of the children's lives. Nearly always the practice involves a terrifying form of torture that probably leaves surviving children scarred for life.

In the heart of this ugly "Christian" movement is the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly known as Zaire. It is the third largest country on the African continent and is located on the Congo River, right in the heart of the continent. It is a nation that has experienced its share of political unrest remembered as the Second Congo War that left the people poverty stricken and destitute. The country borders other troubled places like the Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda that lie to the north and east.

It is out of this chaotic place that this extremist form of Christianity has risen its ugly head. Human rights groups say the growing phenomenon of so-called "child-witches" has been fueled by the fallout from the war that left some 4 million people dead by the time it ended in 1998.

"We have never known poverty like this," said Roger Katembwe-Buiki, spokesman for an African human rights group. "People need to find someone to blame for what is happening to them. Children remain the easiest targets because they cannot fight back."

It is said that hundreds of different cult churches now operate in the nation's capital City of Kinshasa, and that more than 20,000 boys and girls ranging from toddlers to teenagers have been accused of demonic possession or being witches. Many of them have been killed or tortured. Those that survived the so-called exorcisms were left abandoned and living on the streets.

Because the natives have been raised in deeply spiritual and superstitious homes, they are quick to believe that demons or witches are the cause of tragedy. When an Ebola outbreak killed 64 people, sorcery was blamed. The children also are being blamed for the AIDS epidemic that is sweeping the continent.

Outside investigations have revealed that many of these independent "revivalist" churches that offer exorcizms charge for their services. These services include terrible beatings, locking the children in dark basement rooms without food and water, burning them with coals and other forms of torture designed to chase the demons out of them. More abusive ceremonies involve forced vomiting, sleep deprivation and cuts with razors.

During these ceremonies, the general belief is that when the children twist, squirm and scream from torture, it is proof of demonic possession. Only if the child stops struggling and becomes calm and submissive, is the ritual deemed to have been successful. But what child will stop screaming and struggling while he or she is being beaten with a whip, slashed with a razor, or being forced to swallow something that makes them ill?

And how many children are murdered by these evil practitioners of the angelic driven cloth? In a nation like the Democratic Republic of Congo where children appear to be no more precious than dogs and chickens, is anybody keeping score? How many of the abandoned children live to be adults? It is said the girls quickly fall into prostitution to survive, and fall victim to AIDS.

This is the first of several reports. In future articles we will examine some of the people involved in this evil form of Christian religiolisty. We want to show them for what they really are.

--January 2007