This isn’t a joke. A teenager of African ancestry in London was killed by his relatives because they believed him to be a witch. Writes Damian Thompson:
The Metropolitan Police waited until after the end of the court case to warn us that children are being abused and murdered in increasing numbers in Britain because their African relatives think they are “spirit children” – that is, witches.
Also, children’s charities and campaigners “urged communities to report abuse and said social workers must be firmer in confronting abuse in immigrant groups”.
Let’s deconstruct that. Campaigners are making this appeal because African communities in Britain have been too slow to report this abuse. And social workers have soft-pedalled on the subject, despite the shameful record of their colleagues in the case of Victoria Climbié, an eight-year-old girl from the Ivory Coast who was tortured to death in 2000 by family members who believed she was possessed by the devil.
A contact working in this field told me yesterday: “Social workers from African backgrounds are scared. First, because they may have residual beliefs about witches themselves. Second, because they don’t want to confront church pastors who make a fortune out of ‘exorcising’ children – often at the request of their parents.”
Mind-boggling. Adds Thompson:
I don’t care if these Pentecostal congregations are thriving, and provide role models for black youths. If we can get worked up about secularists banning prayers, or the Islamist infiltration of mosques, why not this unspeakable scandal?