Monday, June 22, 2009

Children are precious


In Nigeria.

The Niger River Delta in Africa is a living hell for many of its people. Massive industrial projects have poisoned the land and the water. Sickness and disease are rampant. The source of the region's problems is clear but many people do not blame the government, instead they have turned on their own children.

Encouraged by a group of evangelical preachers these parents are told to believe that their bad luck is the work of Satan, given human form in their own offspring. Their children are accused of making people ill, of poisoning food and polluting the drinking water.

Denounced as 'Satan made flesh' by powerful pastors and prophetesses, the children are abandoned, tortured, starved and sometimes even murdered. These same ministers also offer to exorcise the devil from the children for large sums of money. In doing this they have created a remarkable industry and made themselves wealthy, while condemning many families to poverty.
The charity is called Stepping Stones Nigeria. I can't imagine that this is only happening in Nigeria.


Anonymous said...

When I see stories like this my instant reaction is to send a donation. Immediately, if not sooner. After all, I am employed in an (almost probably) secure position which, in their world, not mine, pays an unimaginable fortune.

But when it comes to calculating how much to offer, I have to factor in paying my sister's mortgage and a bit more to meet her minimal living expenses, (she was let go from her job just after Christmas, aged 62) to help her keep the tiny unit she's so proud to call her own home.

So the decision comes down to: do I send a measly $50 to these genuinely desperate, deserving kids in a far-away country? Or do I conserve my limited resources in an increasingly uncertain employment and financial environment here in Australia?

Unfortunately, no contest. Beloved sister wins. I am so truly, desperately, sorry that it must be so.


Anonymous said...

group of evangelical preachers these parents are told to believe that their bad luck is the work of Satan'

And people wonder how man made climate change is believed?

RebeccaH said...

It isn't happening only in Nigeria, but that seems to be the worst hotbed of belief in witchcraft and superstition (unfortunately based on an imperfect understanding of Christianity). I will send no money until I can find an organization that uses its resources toward education and the eradication of ignorance and superstition (not necessarily religion, but religion in Africa needs a definite reformation). Only then will this kind of thing disappear.