The title of this post is appropriate I think because if we're being honest that's exactly what this was all about, or at least that's what those committing these unspeakable crimes believe.
Today, I want us to look at a travesty that is occurring with alarming regularity overseas. It would seem as though Satan has deceived an entire continent and succeeded by convincing its people that they are acting in accordance with God's will.
I'm not sure if many other blogs are covering this (or even attempting to discuss it critically), but Christians must address things like this when they happen because to ignore them outright makes us hypocrites especially when we'll shout to the heavens at the top of our lungs against similar incidents like the tragedy involving New Age homicide (sweat lodge deaths) for greed and money.
What am I taking about? I'm talking about the horrific story out of Africa (Nigeria to be exact; boy, that part of the world has been in the news a lot in the past year, huh?) that hit the newswire around the same time the world was transfixed upon that whole Balloon Boy saga. As a result, most people probably had no idea that this had happened. It's a shame a story like this doesn't get more mainstream attention than a bizarre hoax.
Churches Denounce African Children As 'Witches'
The nine-year-old boy lay on a bloodstained hospital sheet crawling with ants, staring blindly at the wall. His family pastor had accused him of being a witch, and his father then tried to force acid down his throat as an exorcism. It spilled as he struggled, burning away his face and eyes. The emaciated boy barely had strength left to whisper the name of the church that had denounced him -- Mount Zion Lighthouse. A month later, he died. Nwanaokwo Edet was one of an increasing number of children in Africa accused of witchcraft by pastors and then tortured or killed, often by family members. Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of "witch children" reviewed by the AP, and 13 churches were named in the case files.
Apparently, this is a persistent crime in Africa. The idea of witchcraft is hardly new, but it has taken on new life recently partly because of a rapid growth in evangelical Christianity there. Estimates indicate that around 15,000 children have been accused in two of Nigeria’s 36 states over the past decade and around 1,000 have been murdered. In the past month alone, three Nigerian children accused of witchcraft were killed and another three were set on fire.
Internews has produced two videos to raise awareness of the plight of Congolese children accused of witchcraft. The videos were part of a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development that trained journalists from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to report on peace talks and social issues.
Have a look at one of them, but be warned that the early images are quite disturbing. By "disturbing" I mean that the viewer gets to see the results of these brutal crimes against innocent children (i.e. burn marks):
Enfants Dits Sorcier - Children Accused of Being A Witch
Around the 7:30 mark a young boy cuts to the chase and provides us with brutal honesty: "Those phoney preachers who know nothing about their job." An appropriate indictment of the situation not only there in Africa, but of "Churchianity" (or the Mega Church, Style-Over-Substance Movement) here in America.
Unacceptable! Yes, dark Satanic forces associated with things like witchcraft are real and they shouldn't be toyed with, but this is absurd! To blame these poor children for just about anything that might possibly go wrong for a family is preposterous! I'd even go so far as to say that it's an African form of late-term abortion the way these innocent children are shunned, tortured, and/or killed.
How can we not draw that conclusion when the article reports that economics and poverty are the root cause of the practice? Think I'm being unfair? Check out this excerpt from the same story:
For their part, the families are often extremely poor, and sometimes even relieved to have one less mouth to feed. Poverty, conflict and poor education lay the foundation for accusations, which are then triggered by the death of a relative, the loss of a job or the denunciation of a pastor on the make, said Martin Dawes, a spokesman for the United Nations Children’s Fund.
On second thought, maybe this shouldn't be surprising to us. I mean, after all, in a few moments we'll see how Rick Warren (everyone's favorite apostate Pastor) ties into this entire discussion. If that's the case, then it shouldn't be too surprising since we all know that he (and others like him) promote a Social Gospel over a Salvation Gospel. There's no denying that fact is there?
As one writer puts it:
Rick Warren's "P.E.A.C.E. Plan" aims to transform 68 countries through attacking what Warren depicts as the biggest global problems which, in order of importance, are 'spiritual emptiness', egocentric leadership, diseases including HIV/AIDS, poverty and illiteracy. Warren announced his plan on April 17, 2005, at an event, held at California's Anaheim Angels stadium, during which Warren called for "total mobilization", "global expansion" and "radical devotion" in a world movement that would feature a combined government, business and church effort to evangelize the earth and establish a Christian world 'kingdom'. During the event, pastor Warren exhorted his Saddleback church members to follow Jesus with the committed zeal shown by followers of men who led the bloodiest political and revolutionary movements of the 20th Century: Hitler, Lenin and Mao.
Rick Warren Urges Followers To Emulate Hitler Youth
Ultimately, it doesn't matter what the stated cause is. Even if 1 out of 1 million of these little ones is truly demonically possessed there is nothing that would make this growing practice acceptable to any Christian there or anywhere else around the world for that matter. No true believer in Jesus Christ would condone such deplorable behavior. I just wish more Christians would begin to speak out against this as loudly as they do against abortion and gay marriage.
I want to continue to focus on the apostate church angle for a moment. Read THIS COMMENTARY on the subject, and then consider the following truths:
> The Mount Zion Lighthouse -- the one connected to this crime and also named by three other families as the accuser of their children -- is part of the powerful Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria. The Fellowship's president, Ayo Oritsejafor, said the Fellowship was the fastest-growing religious group in Nigeria, with more than 30 million members.
> I know fully well that one bad apple doesn't spoil the entire apple cart, but let me just put this out there so that we can keep a closer eye on things from this point on. Pentecostal people are not all evil of course, BUT Christians need to put their house in order. It was pentecostal Bishop Thomas Muthee of Kenya that anointed Sarah Palin as Queen Esther and cast a prayer over her to provide her with financial resources, protect her from witchcraft, and "make her a way" in politics...
> Kenya is where there are routine murders of accused witches by Pentecostals, often they are the indigenous African culture's faith healers. Aside from Palin, Pentecostal John Ashcroft has been identified as a member of The Family. I strongly encourage you to read "The Family At C Street" for relevant info. Again, both Sarah Palin and John Ashcroft cut their teeth as Pentecostals in the Assemblies of God church.
> It's tough to argue that promoting a false gospel -- the Social Gospel of the modern Mega-Church Movement of Churchianity -- isn't responsible for fostering this type of environment especially when these so-called Pastors charge families money to perform exorcisms; large sums that easily bankrupt entire families who earn only $2 per day. "We cannot afford to make enemies of all the churches around here," one boy said said. "But we know the vast majority of them are involved in the abuse even if their headquarters aren't aware. Please stop the pastors who hurt us," said Jerry quietly, touching the scars on his face. "I believe in God and God knows I am not a witch."
As another blogger put it:
American Church leaders know full well this is going on in their branch parishes in Africa and elsewhere, it's just bad for business to try to stop it. Don't believe me? Then read this: "Rick Warren's African Allies Tied To Massacres, Sex-Slavery, Forced Labor, Concentration Camps."
Sad, but true. Worse is when it takes a non-believer to not only shine a light on this despicable practice, but to also provide one of the few commentaries on how contemporary Christianity is suspiciously silent (and therefore complicit) on such incidents.
At least Gary Foxcroft, head of the nonprofit Stepping Stones Nigeria, had it right: "It is an outrage what they are allowing to take place in the name of Christianity."
I should probably clarify my position and set the record straight for those non-believers who stumble upon this column. There's NOTHING "Christian" about this practice whatsoever, and those committing these heinous crimes are not true Christians even though they may say that they are and that they would have you believe that they are acting in accordance with their church and the Word of God. They're not the first to do so, and we all know they won't be the last.
Satan's grip on that continent is apparent. True Christians need to step out of the shadows and condemn things of this nature so that the world knows we don't just look the other way and turn a blind eye when those who profess to honor and worship the same God that we do commit crimes against decency and humanity.
Though it breaks our heart to read about such atrocities and to see such depressing images we know that vengeance is the Lord's.
Matthew 18:6 (KJV) But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
May God have mercy on their souls. Lord come quickly!
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