• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Nigerian Child Witches: Inquiry into Abuses in Akwa Ibom, but Pastors Stigmatise Children Elsewhere

The News has the latest on child witches in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria: Governor Godswill Akpabio has set up a six-man Commission of Inquiry into witchcraft accusations and child rights abuses in Akwa Ibom State, charging it to help government bring justice to bear on the society. …At the swearing-in of members of the Commission headed by […]

Governor of Akwa Ibom Threatens NGOs Protecting “Child Witches” with Arrest

Embarrassed by reports of the continuing problem of children being stigmatised as witches in Akwa Ibom state in Nigeria, Governor Godswill Akpabio has decided to act: by going after the charities that have been caring for abandoned children and highlighting the problem. The Pioneer reports: Weekend Pioneer recalls Chief Akpabio in his reaction to a news report on […]

Nigerian Foreign Minister Accuses Abused Child Witches of Lying

Astonishing news from the Nigeria Next: Two months after the world was regaled with the revelation of mutilated, and abused children from Eket in Akwa Ibom state for being witches and wizards, the first official reaction from the federal government has come from far away Geneva. The Minister for Foreign Affair, Ojo Madueke, leading the […]

Child Witches in Congo Highlighted by UN Report

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has just issued a report on Congo; a couple of paragraphs are devoted to the subject of children who have been accused of witchcraft: 78. While the Committee notes that awareness-raising and rehabilitation activities for children accused of witchcraft have been developed, however remains concerned that a […]

Saving Child Witches: A Nigerian Perspective

I am pleased to introduce a guest post by Leo Igwe, executive secretary of the Nigerian Humanist Movement – RB Some months ago, a British film-maker drew my attention to the plight of children in Akwa Ibom State who had been accused of being witches and wizards and thrown out of their homes by their families […]

Abuse of “Child Witches” in Congo Highlighted

Staying with Human Rights Watch, the organisation has a new report out on Congolese street-children. As I blogged a couple of months ago, many of these children have been thrown out of their homes following accusations of witchcraft, a new trend which is being fed by certain churches (footnotes excluded): Individuals who work with children […]

Congo’s Churches and Child Witches

The Observer reports on the continuing tragedy of children accused of witchcraft in Congo: Tens of thousands of children live in the cemeteries, markets and streets of Kinshasa feeding on rubbish, begging and stealing. Most are there because of witchcraft accusations – mostly from their own families. So why is this happening? …As Congolese society has […]

Battle over Nigeria’s “Child-Witches”

Child-witch stigmatisation continues in Akwa Ibom state in Nigeria: …The Akwa Ibom State government has concluded plans to rehabilitate 21 abandoned children who were discovered taking refuge at two locations in Eket local government Area. The commissioner for Women Affairs and Social welfare, Mrs. Eunice Thomas disclosed this when she visited the children at the […]

Third Segment from CNN on Child-Witches

CNN’s Connect the World has now broadcast the third and final part of its investigation into child-witch stigmatisation in Nigeria (I blogged parts one and two over the past two days). As before, the segment began with a depressing scene: in this instance, a young widow weeping with fear and distress as she rejects her three children from her […]

More from CNN on Pastors and Child-Witches in Africa

CNN’s Connect the World has broadcast the second part of its series on children who are being stigmatised as witches in Africa, focusing on the role of pastors [UPDATE: video here]. The programme drew on the 2008 documentary Saving Africa’s Witch-Children, which I blogged on here, and we saw once again the sad sight of Mary, the […]