Children in Nigeria victims of superstition

In a small village in Nigeria, a little boy of 5 years of age is frightened and confused. His mother and father have abandoned him; their normally loving embrace will never be felt again. The other villagers are angry, and some of them throw stones at him. He does not cry. Part of him has accepted his fate, and the rejection of his loved ones is enough to make the boy numb. The only question in his mind is how all of this is happening, and whether or not it’s simply just a bad dream.

If you’ve ever thought human superstitions were quaint and amusing, this is due to the fact in your society, science has unmasked superstitions and shown how foolish and silly they are. No one takes the idea of throwing salt over their shoulder for good luck seriously, any more than we avoid black cats. But in places like Nigeria, superstition is a powerful force which dominates their lives. It is made worse by the fact that the fear they trigger is being used by powerful evangelical ministers to gain power and wealth. The victims are little children who are often tortured, abandoned, and sometimes killed.

Their tactic is simple: by accusing children of witchcraft, a minister offers his expensive services to exorcise them. Often, however, when the parents can ill afford the treatment, their fear turns them from caring parents into brutal murderers. Some of these preachers have become extraordinary wealthy doing this. All of them have the blood of innocents on their hands.

It’s difficult enough to watch as whole villages turn on innocent children without seeing the long term affects. Many of the children, even when they do find a home, look despondent and scared. Their childhood has been savagely ripped away, leaving sorrow, despair, and unhappiness.

A little while ago, we did a podcast on the subject, but a fan of the site thought it necessary to remind me that this was still going on. I felt it should be mentioned again, if only to encourage those generous few to donate to an organization called Stepping Stones Nigeria which takes in these abandoned children who would otherwise be turned into slaves, or simply raped and killed. I don’t normally ask this of anyone, but it’s far too shocking to do nothing.

I’ve heard it said atheists are less generous than their religious counterparts. I think this untrue. I encourage you to help out this worthy organization, and if you have Christian friends, make them understand that their Savior is being used to justify torture and death. If they feel even half the outrage I do, hopefully it will match their generosity.

Comments (9)

  • avatar


    Aw, snap. As if I wasn’t pissed off enough already today about irrational beliefs…this put me right over the edge.

    Thanks for raising awareness. I did some research as well and wrote about this over at the new site. Anyone can register and write blog posts over there, it’s a non-theist community blog orgy. Uh…I mean gathering.

    Atheistic Josh Nankivel

  • avatar

    raven rowe

    how can anyone be so misguided.
    this pretty much embodies religion in one doesn’t it! create mass hysteria to frighten and cause suspicion amongst the vulnerable, and go on to offer expensive treatment to “save” people from the epidemic. it makes me physically sick to read how mutilated and selfish christians are… it is true that atheism is the only non profit religion based organisation.

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