onsdag 12 december 2007

Häxjakt på barn i Nigeria

Bland annat evangelikala pastorer driver i Nigeria uppfattningen att vissa barn är häxor (eller förhäxade) och anledningen till olycka i samhället.

Dessa barn bli utstötta från sina familjer och byar, ibland misshandlade, torterade och t o m dödade.

Pastorerna tjänar i sin tur pengar på att förlösa (utföra exorcism) dessa barn från sina förhäxelser.

"In a maddened state of terror, parents and whole villages turn on the child. They are burnt, poisoned, slashed, chained to trees, buried alive or simply beaten and chased off into the bush.
Some parents scrape together sums needed to pay for a deliverance - sometimes as much as three or four months' salary for the average working man - although the pastor will explain that the witch might return and a second deliverance will be needed."
Den tragiska situationen har uppstått ur ett destruktivt samspel mellan vidskepelse och religion. Vi ser här ett exempel på hur idéer och övertygelser kan "köra över" eller åtsidosätta våra medfödda benägenheter för att bl a värna om våra barns välbefinnande.

Mary, en 10-årig flicka berättar om sitt öde:
"'My youngest brother died. The pastor told my mother it was because I was a witch. Three men came to my house. I didn't know these men. My mother left the house. Left these men. They beat me.' She pushes her fists under her chin to show how her father lay, stretched out on his stomach on the floor of their hut, watching. After the beating there was a trip to the church for 'a deliverance'.A day later there was a walk in the bush with her mother. They picked poisonous 'asiri' berries that were made into a draught and forced down Mary's throat. If that didn't kill her, her mother warned her, then it would be a barbed-wire hanging. Finally her mother threw boiling water and caustic soda over her head and body, and her father dumped his screaming daughter in a field. Drifting in and out of consciousness, she stayed near the house for a long time before finally slinking off into the bush.Mary was seven. She says she still doesn't feel safe. She says: 'My mother doesn't love me.' And, finally, a tear streaks down her beautiful face."
Vilka är då dessa pastorer?
"Although old tribal beliefs in witch doctors are not so deeply buried in people's memories, and although there had been indigenous Christians in Nigeria since the 19th century, it is American and Scottish Pentecostal and evangelical missionaries of the past 50 years who have shaped these fanatical beliefs. Evil spirits, satanic possessions and miracles can be found aplenty in the Bible, references to killing witches turn up in Exodus, Deuteronomy and Galatians, and literal interpretation of scriptures is a popular crowd-pleaser.

Pastor Joe Ita is the preacher at Liberty Gospel Church in nearby Eket. 'We base our faith on the Bible, we are led by the holy spirit and we have a programme of exposing false religion and sorcery.'
"
Vi kan skatta oss lyckliga över att inte bo i ett land där villfarelser har så stor makt som de verkar ha i t ex Nigeria. Men vi ska samtidigt inte blunda för deras missöden. Om vi önskar förändring måste vi lyfta fram och öppet kritiseras sådana här förhållanden.

Här finns ett litet videoreportage från Guardian Unlimited: Häxjakt på barn i Nigeria

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