Attitude Towards Witchcraft in Africa: The Role of the Church
In African societies, witches are perceived as enemies of the society causing ill-health, bad luck and all sorts of misfortunes. Hence, any inhuman treatment directed to them is seen as an act to rid the society of its enemies. In an attempt to carry out this “moral imperative”, many have suffered for what they did not do due to false accusations while some have suffered unnecessarily just because their relatives were accused of witchcraft. Also, many whose cause of failure is not traceable to any force, go about attributing it to witches and some churches are involved in this act of abuse of human right. As a descriptive study, this paper explores the role of the church in influencing the attitude of Africans toward the perceived witches. It argues that attitude towards so called witches in Africa, is rooted in the people’s worldview and any solution to witchcraft accusation that does not take this worldview into consideration may not yield the expected results. So, the church has a role to play in this direction. It therefore recommends that among other things, the church should engage the Bible to deal with the fears and needs associated with the worldview about witchcraft, formulate a Bible based theology of suffering, revert to the message of salvation and join other NGOS to address the issues associated with human right abuse in witchcraft matters.
Keywords: Witchcraft Accusation, Church, Africa, Belief, Attitude