The UK papers have been giving high profile to the appalling murder of a young man of Congolese descent at the hands of his sister and boyfriend. Kristy Bamu, 15, was killed by sister Magalie Bamu, 29, and Eric Bikubi, 28 after they accused him of being a witch. The boy suffered hideous injuries as the couple tried to extract a confession from him.
The UK court has sensibly taken a very strong stance against the couple, who have both been jailed for life. Detective Superintendent Terry Sharpe said, "This is a hidden and under-reported crime and therefore difficult to deal with in terms of protecting potential victims from harm."
Although cultural differences should not for one moment be regarded as a valid excuse for such violence, the interesting religious background of the Congo and southern Nigeria goes a small way to eplaining the couple's belief in wtichcraft. Western Pentecostal missionaries in the region encouraged the fusing of African tradition of witchcraft with Christian notions of the devil. Not only do these priests legitimise witch hunts, they encourage them and even profit from them. They may offer to identify children as witches for a fee and "cure" them for further payment by exorcism.
Via The Guardian