Children and witchcraft
Christian groups have rallied to respond to a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary, stating that it presented an unbalanced view of African churches in Britain.
A joint statement from the EvangelicalAlliance (EA), Churches Together in England and the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service, responded to the ‘Britain’s witch children’ documentary, stating that the vast majority of African churches did not subscribe to abusive practices.
The programme revealed an appalling abuse of children in some rogue churches, which branded children as witches or demon-possessed, thereby justifying cruel and wicked abuse.
The joint statement read: ‘We wholeheartedly condemn churches abusing or encouraging the abuse of children, in particular any church that brands children as witches or demon-possessed. However, we would like to stress that Monday’s Dispatches focused on a small rogue element of pastors, and the vast majority of African churches in the UK do not subscribe to these practises.
‘We are disappointed that Channel 4 made no attempt to contact either the Evangelical Alliance or Churches Together in England for comment during the production of this programme.
‘We are also dismayed that the programme did not feature any Christian representatives, who would have condemned these practises and provided the context that they are not tolerated in the vast majority of African churches’.
Steve Clifford, general director of the EA, said, ‘There is no justification, in any circumstances, for child abuse or sexual abuse, and we wholeheartedly condemn any cases of the vulnerable being abused or exploited in the name of God. The vast majority of churches, whatever their cultural background, foster respect, nurture and care for children’.