Pay up, or we kill your children

The Observer reports on what amounts to a religious protection racket in Nigeria:

But an exploitative situation has now grown into something much more sinister as preachers are turning their attentions to children – naming them as witches. In a maddened state of terror, parents and whole villages turn on the child. They are burnt, poisoned, slashed, chained to trees, buried alive or simply beaten and chased off into the bush.

Some parents scrape together sums needed to pay for a deliverance – sometimes as much as three or four months’ salary for the average working man – although the pastor will explain that the witch might return and a second deliverance will be needed. Even if the parent wants to keep the child, their neighbours may attack it in the street.

This is not just a few cases. This is becoming commonplace. In Esit Eket, up a nameless, puddled-and-potholed path is a concrete shack stuffed to its fetid rafters with roughly made bunk beds. Here, three to a bed like battery chickens, sleep victims of the besuited Christian pastors and their hours-long, late-night services. Ostracised and abandoned, these are the children a whole community believes fervently are witches.

Even by the standards of organised religion, this is disgusting. It’s time that all decent people stopped respecting “faith” — their word for irrational nonsense — communities, and recognised religion for what it is. At best religion is silly and misguided harmless nonsense, and at worst it is the most evil set of ideas humans have ever produced, with the proven ability to incite millions of killings.

Religion should never be respected; at best it should be grudgingly tolerated.

(via Randy McDonald)

This entry was posted in Christianity, Nigeria, religion. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Pay up, or we kill your children

  1. Nigerian religious practices are of no concern for those outside of its borders. To assume that one religion is more “moral” than another, or the religion of Atheism, is to perpetuate a moral-hierarchy. Their practices may seem absurd to us, but to them it is their spiritual mandate. By singling them out for condemnation, you create religious-based conflict and perpetuate the never-ending string of wars that have scarred millions over the years.

  2. cabalamat says:

    Nigerian religious practices are of no concern for those outside of its borders.

    I disagree. Everyone is entitled to think what they like including to be concerned about what they like. Borders are artificial entities; fundamentally we are all the same as humans.

    To assume that one religion is more “moral” than another, or the religion of Atheism, is to perpetuate a moral-hierarchy.

    Clear this is true: if you say one belief system is more moral than another, then that’s a moral hierarchy.

    I say that beliefs that involve murdering children are less moral than beliefs that don’t involve murdering children. You are free to disagree with me, if you wish.

    Their practices may seem absurd to us, but to them it is their spiritual mandate. By singling them out for condemnation, you create religious-based conflict and perpetuate the never-ending string of wars that have scarred millions over the years.

    I believe all religion is absurd, as are all belief-systems that are not based on observable, testable, reality. I’m not singling Nigerians for condemnation; religious nutters in the rest of the world are just as bad. And I think religious conflict should be ended, by ending religion.

  3. madmonq says:

    Nigerian religious practices are of no concern for those outside of its borders. To assume that one religion is more “moral” than another, or the religion of Atheism, is to perpetuate a moral-hierarchy. Their practices may seem absurd to us, but to them it is their spiritual mandate. By singling them out for condemnation, you create religious-based conflict and perpetuate the never-ending string of wars that have scarred millions over the years.

    We all know killing children and families is immoral so your nonsense about religious discrimination is crap.

    An even finer point might be that man doesn’t need religion as a justification to kill. But it seems to make people feel better about it.

  4. dianarn says:

    Organized religion is just another form of mind control that divides people. Not only does it divide them and make them hate each other, it also manages to make some money off of them. “Sure your kid is a witch and will send our village straight to hell, however we have the ability to turn him back to normal, for a small fee, of course. A couple of God’s checks bounced and He needs the extra money to pay the fees.” Reminds me of the Catholic church and their sale of indulgences.

    Did you know the Vatican has more money than any other institution in the world? They could probably end poverty in at least one country if they chose. As if that will ever happen…

  5. Sumedh says:

    Utterly despicable and horribly shocking.

  6. Kelli Stowe says:

    Sorry for the error. And thank you for the post.

    http://childwitches.blogspot.com/

    Thank you,
    Kelli

  7. Kelli Stowe says:

    There is a way you can help the children if you would like. I have been researching this for a while and have created a blog with information and three petitions that can be signed protesting against the treatment of the children and the so called pastors that are extorting the parents of the children. Please consider signing them for the children.

    Thank you for posting this, the more the word about this gets out the better.

    Thank you,
    Kelli

  8. Kelli Stowe says:

    Sorry for posting another post I neglected to look to see if I had posted here before. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

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