Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More African Idiocy

Self-proclaimed bishop Sunday Ulup-Aya of southeast Nigeria has been arrested for the murders of several children he claimed were possessed by the spirits of witches. While superstitions about witchcraft and black magic have always run rampant in many parts of Africa, the idea that children can somehow fall prey to the dark arts is relatively new. It creates an easy scapegoat for all the troubles that might befall a family struggling to survive. After all, a kid can't defend herself against the allegations, and children are pretty easy to catch and kill. But while confessing to killing hundreds of the "witches inside" children, Ulup-Aya denies that he actually exorcised the life from these kids. An investigation is ongoing. But Ulup-Aya's line of work seems to be growing. Many self-proclaimed holy men are getting into the violent exorcism act. Basically, they walk up to a household, blame all the family's problems on the innocent child, and subtract some money for their "exorcism" services. Kind of like those door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesmen except with child murder. More details here.

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