Witch Hunts in Kenya

iBrian

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Quite disturbing, really:
BBC NEWS | Africa | Horror of Kenya's 'witch' lynchings

Villagers, many straight from their farms, and armed with machetes, sticks and axes, are shouting and crowding round in a big group in Kenya's fertile Kisii district.

I can't see clearly what is going on, but heavy smoke is rising from the ground and a horrible stench fills the air.

More people are streaming up the hill, some of them with firewood and maize stalks.

Suddenly an old woman breaks from the crowd, screaming for mercy. Three or four people go after her, beat her and drag her back, pushing her onto - what I can now see - is a raging fire.

I was witnessing a horrific practice which appears to be on the increase in Kenya - the lynching of people accused of being witches.

I personally saw the burning alive of five elderly men and women in Itii village.
 
What is the impetus that causes this? Is it economic? ie is it due to a combination of more impovershed times and the superstitions colliding? Folks feeling helpless so they blame something?

The times of witch trials in the US and Europe, does anyone know what was the root cause of those happenings?
 
What is the impetus that causes this? Is it economic? ie is it due to a combination of more impovershed times and the superstitions colliding? Folks feeling helpless so they blame something?

The times of witch trials in the US and Europe, does anyone know what was the root cause of those happenings?

Wil, I would hazard a guess that fear is a major contributing cause.
 
Wil, I would hazard a guess that fear is a major contributing cause.
Yes, but fear is always around. Yet these isolated instances appear to crop up periodically throughout history. I would think there must be a combination of factors that allows the 'perfect storm'?
 
apparently since independence in 1963 [not forgeting the british mucked round with land settlements etc] there has been intermittent rioting and scapegoating usually in response to elections which are considered rigged by many, as there are many ethnic groups affiliated to certain politicians. poverty is bad [in one of the links it says people in the poor areas of Niarobi do the toilet in carrier bags and chuck it out the window]; in the rift valley there is a shortage of fertile land. The last election was in December and they have changed the constitution [they have both a PM and a president]. No doubt fat cats are having a ball at the expense of the poor as per usual but its quite extreme in Africa.
 
I have heard of this before but on a worse scale. If you type into YouTube "africa's witch children"; It's a horrible documentary on the evangelical community that has managed to convince the locals that some of their children are witches. So their parents burn them, lock them up, send them to witch doctors, priests (conmen). It's awful. One girl got a huge nail hammered into her head. It gave her partial brain damage and people at the local refuge look after her.

So sad... different culture though. We used to do it... (not with children I don't think but we used to burn and drown women for supposedly being witches )
 
I have heard of this before but on a worse scale. If you type into YouTube "africa's witch children"; It's a horrible documentary on the evangelical community that has managed to convince the locals that some of their children are witches. So their parents burn them, lock them up, send them to witch doctors, priests (conmen). It's awful. One girl got a huge nail hammered into her head. It gave her partial brain damage and people at the local refuge look after her.

So sad... different culture though. We used to do it... (not with children I don't think but we used to burn and drown women for supposedly being witches )
Are you saying Christian Evangelicals? Missionaries perpetuating or creating the story...
 
We used to do it... (not with children I don't think but we used to burn and drown women for supposedly being witches )

During the European and North American witch hunts children were found guilty of witchcraft too. During the Salem trials, Dorothy (sometimes incorrectly identified as Dorcas) Good was four or five years old when she was tried as a witch.

There's more on children accused and condemned as witches in Europe at From the Mouths of Babes: Children as Witches

Ben G.
 
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