|i'm not one to write to much about myself but i guess i got a couple stories to tell to,so ask me tell you them some other time.i'm wiccan i was once into the dark magick things happened and i never forgave my self,i look around the site as if magic is a toy but i am here to teach you all its not,its a gift and its not ment to be used to controll ones will or to hurt another.if there are any one out there and you are new...you better read up on this stuff first, remember the 3 fold law and the rede.i am now a wiccan of piece looking for my bride, which has to be in the faith i am into.i have some books by raymon buckland and amber k. and also silver ravenwolf they are all great writer and every one must read their stuff, they taught me a couple things and i been in the faith of wicca for 5 going on 6 years now.if you have any question feel free to ask.Blessed Be!
African children denounced as 'witches'
Accused by church pastor, they are tortured, killed.
By Katherarine Houreld - Associated Writer.
EKET, Nigeria-the 9-year-old boy lay on a blood stained 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 light house.
A month later, he died. Nwanaokwo was one of increasing number of children in Africa accused of witchcraft by pastor and then tortured or killed, often by family members.
Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of "witch children" reviewed by the associated press, and 13 churches were named in the case files.
Some of the churches involved are renegade local branches of international franchises. Their parishioners take literally the biblical exhortation, ?thou shalt not suffer a witch to life."
?It is an outrage what they are allowing to take place in the name of Christianity,? said Gary Foxcroft, head of nonprofit stepping stones Nigeria.
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 accusation, 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 children?s fund.
?When communities come under pressure, they look for scapegoats.? He said.? It plays into traditional beliefs that someone is responsible for a negative change ?and children are defenseless.?
The idea of witchcraft is hardly new, but it has taken on new life recently partly because of rapid growth in evangelical Christianity. Campaigners against the practice say about 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.
Nigeria is one of the heartlands of abuse, but hardly the one: United Nations Children?s Fund says tens of thousands of children have been targeted throughout Africa.
Church signs twist of the road snaking through the jungle between Uyo, the capital of the southern Akwa Ibom state where Nwanaokwo lay, and Eket, home to many more rejected ?witch children.?
Churches outnumber schools, clinics and banks put together. Many promise to solve parishioner?s material worries as well as spiritual ones- eight out of ten Nigerians struggle by on less than $2 a day.
It?s hard for churches to carve out congregation with so much competition. So some pastors establish their credentials by accusing children of witchcraft. Nwanaokwo said he knew the pastor who accused him only as Pastor King. Mount Zion Lighthouse in Nigeria at first confirmed that a pastor king worked for them, then denied that they knew any such person.
The Nigerian church is a branch of a Californian church by the same name. But the Californian church says it lost touch with its Nigerian offshoots several years ago.
Sam Itauma of the children?s rights and rehabilitation network said it is the most vulnerable children-the orphaned, sick, disabled or poor- who are most often denounced. In Nwanaokwo?s case, his poor father and dead mother made him and easy target.
?Even churches who didn?t use to ?find? child witches are being forced into it by the competition,? said Itauma. ?They are seen as spiritually powerful because they can detect witchcraft and the parents may even pay them money for an exorcism.?
At first glance, there?s nothing unusual about the laughing, grubby kids playing hopscotch or reading from a tattered Dick and Jane book by the graffiti scrawled cinderblock house. But this is where children like Abigail end up after being labeled witches by churches and abandoned or tortured by their families.
There?s a scar above Jane?s shy smile: her mother tried to saw off the top of her skull after a pastor denounced her and repeated exorcisms costing a total of$60 didn?t cure her witchcraft.
Mary, 15, is just beginning to think about boys and how they will look at the scar tissue on her face caused when her mother doused her in caustic soda. Twelve-year-old Rachel dreamed of being a banker but instead was chained up by her pastor, starved and beaten with sticks repeatedly; her uncle paid him $60 for the exorcism.
Israel?s cousin tried to bury him alive, Nwaekwa?s father drove a nail through her head, and sweet-tempered Jerry-all knees, elbows and toothy grin- was beaten by his pastor, starved made to eat cement and then set on fire by his father as his pastor?s wife cheered it on.
The children at the home run by Itauma?s organization have been mutilated as casually as the praying mantises they play with. Home officials asked for the children?s last names not to be used to protect them from retaliation.
The home was founded in 2003 with seven children; it now has 120 to 200 at any given time as children are reconciled with their families and new victims arrive.
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