Child Witches Accused in the Name of Jesus
Magic-Worker Influencing Another Person's Body or Property Against his or her Will



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Child Witches Accused in the Name of Jesus
Magic-Worker Influencing Another Person's Body or Property Against his or her Will

In a dirt-floored, back-alley church, 8-year-old Bobby and his 6-year-old brother Henock were made to kneel before a pastor wearing a white, flowing robe adorned with pictures of Jesus.


Looming over the boys, Pastor Moise Tshombe went into a trance, during which he claimed the Holy Spirit took over and the voice of God spoke through him.

"I see that witchcraft is in these two," Tshombe said. "The threats inside of them are very strong."


These young brothers were the latest victims in an epidemic of accusations of child witchcraft here in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is raging in the name of Jesus. It continues seemingly unabated despite flags raised by organizations such as the United Nations, Save the Children and Human Rights Watch.

Practices to which the witchcraft label has historically been applied are those which influence another person's mind, body, or property against his or her will, or which are believed, by the person doing the labelling, to undermine the social or religious order.

Some modern commentators consider the malefic nature of witchcraft to be a Christian projection. The concept of a magic-worker influencing another person's body or property against his or her will was clearly present in many cultures, as there are traditions in both folk magic and religious magic that have the purpose of countering malicious magic or identifying malicious magic users.


Congo's Child Witches


Children Accused of Witchcraft

Many children have been abandoned and abused by their families because the families believe they are witches.

These children have to fight to stay alive. The very people that are suppose to protect them end up hurting them or worse.


Many examples can be found in ancient texts, such as those from Egypt and Babylonia, where malicious magic is believed to have the power to influence the mind, body or possessions, malicious magic users can become a credible cause for disease, sickness in animals, bad luck, sudden death, impotence and other such misfortunes.

Witchcraft of a more benign and socially acceptable sort may then be employed to turn the malevolence aside, or identify the supposed evil-doer so that punishment may be carried out.

The folk magic used to identify or protect against malicious magic users is often indistinguishable from that used by the witches themselves.

There has also existed in popular belief the concept of white witches and white witchcraft, which is strictly benevolent. Many neopagan witches strongly identify with this concept, and profess ethical codes that prevent them from performing magic on a person without their request.

Where belief in malicious magic practices exists, such practitioners are typically forbidden by law as well as hated and feared by the general populace, while beneficial magic is tolerated or even accepted wholesale by the people – even if the orthodox establishment objects to it.