Ban These Witchcraft Churches; the Horrific Abuse of an African Child Allegedly Possessed by Demons Reveals Exploitation by 'Christian' Churches - and the Failure of Social Services

The Evening Standard (London, England), June 7, 2005 | Go to article overview

Ban These Witchcraft Churches; the Horrific Abuse of an African Child Allegedly Possessed by Demons Reveals Exploitation by 'Christian' Churches - and the Failure of Social Services


Byline: DIANE ABBOTT

BY DIANE ABBOTT MP for Hackney North

THREE adults have been convicted of horrific abuse of an eight-year-old African girl because they believed her to be possessed by demons - a case which raises questions most of us might prefer to tiptoe around.

Multiculturalism is one thing, but I draw the line at being asked to respect the views of people who believe in demonic possession. And multiculturalism should not be an excuse for failing to protect the innocent.

It also raises the question of how the state should relate to religion in 21st- century Britain and reminds us of the depressing fact that five years after another little African girl, Victoria Climbie, died (in almost exactly similar circumstances), and three years after a voluminous inquiry into her death, hardly any of its recommendations have been implemented.

Child B - as the girl in this latest case is called - was abused and tortured by her supposed adult "carers" who police believe had brought her here in 2002 to bolster their asylum claim from Angola.

But they were not merely sadists or under the influence of drink or drugs.

They were devout Christians who believed her to be possessed by demons.

Remarkably, one of the women involved - Sita Kasanga - was still insisting that the child was demonically possessed even after a long trial and conviction.

This is not an isolated case.

Dr Richard Hoskins, who prepared the report on witchcraft for the prosecution says: "There is cause to get worried.

This is the tip of an iceberg."

Community groups say they know of many other similar cases and it is alleged that hundreds of African children are being sent home for " exorcism" away from the prying eyes of British authorities.

Accusing children of demonic possession, together with brutal exorcism, is a recent trend in Africa which apparently is being imported here. It is a distortion of fundamentalist Christianity.

BLACK people have always been enthusiastic communicants in all our major Christian denominat ions.

But this new belief in demonic possession and physical exorcism is being peddled by a new type of church catering, almost exclusively, to the needs of the African community.

These churches often have loose ties to American evangelical churches but more often they are one-man (or one woman) operations. They flourish among some of the most marginalised elements of the community: recent immigrants, people living the twilight life of the asylum-seeker.

They often begin meeting in someone's home but quickly graduate to disused factories, railway arches or other cheap ex-industrial property. The desperately poor congregations somehow find money to donate. Anyone can set up one of these organisations.

Successful ones provide a good living for the "pastor".

There is no limit on what they can extract from their congregation. In return, the people get a sense of community, hope and some sort of explanation for the wretched circumstances of their lives.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Ban These Witchcraft Churches; the Horrific Abuse of an African Child Allegedly Possessed by Demons Reveals Exploitation by 'Christian' Churches - and the Failure of Social Services
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.