Prayer that puts a stop to crimes against children

I Should Say at the outset that this article is about children suffering an experience even more distressing than the blight of hunger and homelessness. I hope you are as moved to pray about it as I was to write about it, having read one of those chilling news reports that uncovers a silent and urgent cry for help to which humanity has to respond. Its title? "Ritual sacrifice of children on rise in Uganda" (Jason Straziuso, Associated Press, April 4, 2010). It points to the killing or maiming of children by adults (sometimes the parents), often prompted by advice from witch doctors, or traditional healers, in order to produce good luck, good health, or to make money.

According to the head of the country's Anti-Human Sacrifice Taskforce, the crime is directly linked to rising levels of development and prosperity in Uganda, and an increasing belief that witchcraft can help people get rich quickly. This is not solely a Ugandan tragedy. Human sacrifices have been recorded throughout history and still occur in many countries, including India, Indonesia, South Africa, Gabon, and Tanzania.

There are some glimmers of light penetrating the gloom in Uganda. The Anti-Human Sacrifice Taskforce, established by the police and nonprofit groups, encourages traditional healers to speak out against such practices. One former witch doctor, turned anti-sacrifice campaigner, Polino Angela, says he has persuaded 2,400 other witch doctors to give up the trade since he himself repented in 1990. Not all do, though. One witch doctor defends the practice, pointing to the Bible story in which God asked Abraham to sacrifice a son.

Mountaintop Views
December 6, 2010

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.