Ministries battle Uganda's thriving child sacrifice business
On October 19, 2011 At 7:34 am
Responses : 6 Comments
Every day families fear for their children in Uganda and the children fear for their siblings due to witch doctors kidnapping children and using them for ritual sacrifice. Because of what superstitious witch doctors do to children in order to gain riches for a person, Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga, a Christian minister with Childcare Ministries, teaches a song to children (see first video below) called Heal Our Land, End Child Sacrifice:
Heal our land
Bring us hope
End Child Sacrifice
And heal our land
Heal the land
Heal the land
Heal the land
End the sacrifice
And heal the land
We will stand
Let justice reign
We call on you oh God
To heal our land
Heal the land (3x with echo chorus)
End the sacrifice
And heal our land
Hope is real
Tell the world
End the sacrifice
And heal the land
WARNING: SOME OF THE MATERIAL IN VIDEO MAYBE DESTRUBING TO SOME PEOPLE
According to BBC News Africa, areas surrounding Uganda’s capital are gripped with fear. Teachers and parents watch children closely in an attempt to keep them safe, but sometimes it is not enough and witch doctors still manage to kidnap and kill their children. A few survive, but those who do suffer physical and psychological damage from the ordeal.
Even the priest, in the video above, stated superstition drives child sacrifice. The witch doctors cut the children’s throats and genitals. Afterwards, they take the child’s hands and feet and bury them for, what they believe will bring wealth and good health.
Video on BBC News (VERY GRAPHIC):
A BBC undercover reporter is told: "We can bury the child alive on your construction site."
BBC interviewed a witch doctor, who called child sacrifice, the most powerful sacrifice and described it in graphic detail.
The ritual, which some believe brings wealth and good health, was almost unheard of in the country until about three years ago, but it has re-emerged, seemingly alongside a boom in the country's economy.
The mutilated bodies of children have been discovered at roadsides, the victims of an apparently growing belief in the power of human sacrifice.
The featured picture shows a handsome young boy named Stephen, who went missing for at least 24 hours. According to the BBC, authorities found his decapitated body in a field and they declared him a victim of child sacrifice. His grandmother, Tepenensi, led BBC reporter to the field where she found her six-year-old grandson and shook as she recounted seeing his beheaded body.
Clutching the only photo she has of her grandson, Tepenensi sobbed as she explained that although the local witch doctor had admitted to sacrificing Stephen, the police were reluctant to pursue the case.
"They offered me money to keep quiet," she says. "I refused the offer."
Supposedly, people believe that the wealthy pay the witch doctors to do these sacrifices in order to increase their wealth.
"Child sacrifice has risen because people have become lovers of money. They want to get richer," the pastor says.
"They have a belief that when you sacrifice a child you get wealth, and there are people who are willing to buy these children for a price. So they have become a commodity of exchange, child sacrifice has become a commercial business."
Pastors and parishioners lobbied the government to regulate witch doctors and to improve resources for police to investigate these crimes against children and their families.
According to official police figures, there was one case of child sacrifice in 2006; in 2008 the police say they investigated 25 alleged ritual murders, and in 2009, another 29.
The Anti-Human Sacrifice Police Task Force, launched in response to the growing numbers, says the ritual murder rate has slowed, citing a figure of 38 cases since 2006.
Pastor Sewakiryanga disputes the police numbers, and says there are more victims from his parish than official statistics for the entire country.
The Jubilee Campaign strongly criticizes the police’s work on these crimes in their report. They stated that hundreds of these sacrifices occurred over recent years, but 900 still need investigated by police. Supposedly, corruption and lack of resources prevents investigation of all the cases.
Witch doctors supposedly kidnapped Allen, a nine-year-old boy seen in the video, slit his head open, and left him for dead. His father, who sold his home and moved to the slums of Uganda’s capital so his son could receive medical treatment, stated his son looks better, but there are days he is not well and does not behave normal.
According to BBC, consultant neurosurgeon Michael Muhumuza at the hospital where Allen receives treatment, showed them X-Rays where part of is skull and brain are missing. The X-Rays also showed that his neck received wounds also. A machete supposedly caused these injuries when the witch doctors attempted to behead him.
Allan was able to identify his attackers, including a man called Awali. But the police say Allan's eyewitness account is unreliable.
Local people told us that Awali continues to be involved with child sacrifice.
The Jubilee Campaign video stated that the kidnappers also cut his genitals and throat, and then collect the blood from all his wounds. They supposedly found Allen in a coma, which he stayed in for a month.
Witch doctors consider the blood “spiritual medicine”. While witch doctors cut some children to drain their blood for rituals, others the Witch doctors decapitate and mutilate their genitals, calling it “the most powerful spell”. The witch doctor, Awali, who the BBC reporters managed to interview undercover, described two ways of doing this on the BBC video:
The witch doctor explained that this meeting was to discuss the most powerful spell – the sacrifice of a child.
"There are two ways of doing this," he said. "We can bury the child alive on your construction site, or we cut them in different places and put their blood in a bottle of spiritual medicine."
"If it's a male, the whole head is cut off and his genitals. We will dig a hole at your construction site, and also bury the feet and the hands and put them all together in the hole."
Police deny corruption and insist they are doing all they can.
The head of the Anti-Human Sacrifice Police Task Force, Commissioner Bignoa Moses, says the police are doing all they can to tackle the problem.
"Sometimes, they accuse us of these things because we make no arrests, but we are limited. If we get information that someone is involved in criminal activities like human sacrifice, we shall go and investigate, and if it can be proven we will take him to court, but sometimes the cases are not proven."
According to BBC, the Ugandan government does not listen to children and does not give them a voice to testify. The police even discount a child’s report and testimony, as seen in Allen’s case, stating a child’s testimony is unreliable.
Pastor Sewakiryanga says without the full force of the law, there is little that can be done to protectUganda's children from the belief in the power of human sacrifice.
"The children do not have voices, their voices have been silenced by the law and the police not acting, and the people who read the newspapers do nothing, so we have to make a stand and do whatever it takes to stamp out this evil, we can only pray that the government will listen."
The Jubilee Campaign fights hard to change this and attempt to help the children. In their video, one mother lost both her sons, who she calls Henry and Richard, at the same time. Supposedly, the perpetrators took her sons’ blood, cut off their heads, and left them to die on a bed.
According the video on their site, “this disturbing phenomenon is driven by superstition, exploitation, witchcraft, and poverty.” The witch doctors use the body parts for ritual ceremonies, in the belief that spirits will consume them, and in return, provide wealth, health, success, or solve other problems.
Professor Maggie Kigozi, stated she is most offended such a thing could happen in her community in this day and age, especially in her community in Uganda. Adding, “For us as adults, adult people in our community, doing this to the children, is totally unacceptable.”
Henry Kalulu, a PR officer inUganda’s Police Force, said in the video, “Most of the children, who have been sacrifice, are from very poor backgrounds. The problem is the mind set. We have arrested people who are rich, but want good riches. The problem is therefore fixed in their minds, that for them to get rich, they must sacrifice human beings.”
Hon. Benson Obua-Ogwal, a member of Parliament, stated, “The whole thing is about people believing that if you sacrifice a child, you get wealth. You get riches. You get protection, whatever, but all of this false. Protection does not come from shedding blood. Protection comes from God. Wealth comes from hard work. I think if we started by education people, that you don’t have to kill a human being in order to be rich, but you can become rich through hard work, through commitment, honesty, diligence… That would be the first step.”
However, Peter Sewakiryanga believes these crimes are a spiritual matter that we can learn on our own. “We need God as master. We need God as guidance,” he said. He believes we need to come together and pray to end this child sacrificing.
A representative from Light the World ministries believes we need a volume of prayer will solve this problem and if a church seriously prays about this, God will heal our land.
Mukisa George, a four-year-old survivor currently in a hospital for treatment, received multiple wounds from one of these kidnapping sacrificing incidents. His mother painfully describes his story, stating that they found him in a bush, picked him up, and carried him to a hospital. His genitals were mutilated.
A young working mother’s eleven-month-old baby was abducted and supposedly, as the kidnappers attempted to sacrifice him, another child ran to her and told her what happened. She recounts that she ran home to find her uncle holding her unconscious baby. She took her baby from the uncle and saw the deep laceration on her baby’s throat. The mother stated that it took two months for her baby to get well.
The Jubilee Campaign and Childcare ministry wants to combat child sacrifice and raise awareness of what is happening to children in Uganda.
Related BBC YouTube videos concerning child sacrifice in Uganda: