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Ritual sacrifice of children on rise in Uganda

By JASON STRAZIUSO (AP) –
April 4, 2010

JINJA, Uganda ¬ Caroline Aya was playing in front of her house in January when a neighbor put a cloth over her mouth and fled with her.

A couple of days later, the 8-year-old's body was found a short walk away ¬ with her tongue cut out. Police believe she was offered up as a human sacrifice in a ritual killing, thought to bring wealth or health.

"If it is a sickness you try to treat it, and if they die that is one thing," said Caroline's father, Balluonzima Christ. "But when you slaughter a person like a goat, that is not easy."

The practice of human sacrifice is on the rise in Uganda, as measured by ritual killings where body parts, often facial features or genitals, are cut off for use in ceremonies. The number of people killed in ritual murders last year rose to a new high of at least 15 children and 14 adults, up from just three cases in 2007, according to police. The informal count is much higher ¬ 154 suspects were arrested last year and 50 taken to court over ritual killings.

Children in particular are common victims, according to a U.S. State Department report released this month. The U.S. spent $500,000 to train 2,000 Ugandan police last year to investigate offences related to human trafficking, including ritual killings.

The problem is bad enough that last year the police established an Anti-Human Sacrifice Taskforce. Posters on police station walls show a sinister stranger luring two young girls into a car below bold letters that call on parents to "Prevent Child Sacrifice."

Human sacrifices have been recorded throughout history and occur still in many countries, including India, Indonesia, South Africa, Gabon and Tanzania. One traditional healer in Uganda, when asked about the phenomenon, pointed to the story told in the Bible's book of Genesis, when God asked Abraham to sacrifice a son.

However, the rise in human sacrifices in Uganda appears to come from a desire for wealth and a belief that drugs made from human organs can bring riches, according to task force head Moses Binoga. They may be fueled by a spate of violent Nigerian films that are growing in popularity, and showcase a common story line: A family reaping riches after sacrificing a human.

"I call it a problem of psychological disorientation," said Binoga. "People get disoriented. People stop having respect in humanity and believe more in the worth of money and so-called good fortune, and they lose that natural social respect for people."

The sacrifices are also linked to a deep belief in traditional healers, or witch doctors, who can be found practically every half mile in Uganda.

At the end of a winding dirt road on the edge of Kampala, Uganda's capital, barefoot children scurry past a sign advertising the abilities of Musa Nsimbe, who goes by the trade name Professor Gabogola. The sign in front of his small wood hut reads like a panacea for the world's woes.

"A traditional healer with powers over spirits. Solves all cases, demons, thieves, tooth decay, madness fevers, appelipse, genital affairs."

Sunlight streams in like tiny laser beams through holes in the metal roof of Nsimbe's shrine. Smoke fills the air. Furry hides cover the floor. Animal horns are arrayed before Nsimbe, who chants, hums, murmurs, shakes and bangs his head against the wall in a furious calling of the spirits.

The 38-year-old Nsimbe ¬ a father of 14 children with two women ¬ says it's possible that some witch doctors carry out ritual sacrifices, but that he does not.

Another traditional healer, 60-year-old Livingstone Kiggo, said sacrifice is part of the healer's tool kit ¬ sacrificing a goat, sheep or chicken is considered a call to the spirits, to people's ancestors. But killing humans is not part of the practice, said Kiggo.

He blamed sacrificial deaths on people who "want to destroy the work of traditional healers."

"Those are killers. They are not healers. They are killers," said Kiggo.

In 2008, Kiggo said a man approached him offering to sell a child. He went to the police, who set up a sting operation and snared a man trying to sell his nephew for $2,000. Police and advocates point to several cases where impoverished parents or relatives have tried to sell children to witch doctors for money.

The people of Jinja have seen three suspected cases of child sacrifice in recent months, including Caroline's. When Binoga held a town-hall-style meeting in early February, some 500 people squatted under the shade of five large trees, straining to hear his words.

Many complained of police corruption, slow investigations and a lack of convictions by the country's lethargic courts, words that drew loud cheers from the emotional crowd. Of about 30 people charged with ritual killing last year, nobody has yet been convicted. The last conviction was in 2007.

"There is a lack of political will to protect the children. We have beautiful laws but a lack of political will," said Haruna Mawa, the spokesman for the child protection agency ANPPCAN. "As long as we keep our laws in limbo we are creating a fertile breeding ground for human and child sacrifice to escalate. No convictions. What message are you giving to the police?"

Mawa's agency has helped with several recent cases of child sacrifice. A 2-year-old boy had his penis cut off by a witch doctor in eastern Uganda and now urinates through a tube, Mawa said.

A 12-year-old named Shafik had a knife put to his throat when a female witch doctor realized the boy was circumcised. Witch doctors don't kill children who are circumcised or who have pierced ears because they are considered impure, Mawa said. As a result, some parents have taken their children to get piercings or circumcisions.

The Christ family is protecting their three remaining children in other ways. The siblings no longer walk to school alone and are instead accompanied by their parents. It is a security precaution that the parents can't take forever, said Fred Kyankya, the district criminal intelligence officer.

"You can't keep holding onto a child very tightly. Children move freely," Kyankya said. "So people get scared that there are such vices in the country."


3 Comments:

Blogger JaneDoeThreads said...

Being that I know a little personally what ritual abuse is, from some things from my childhood...let me state for the record, to Correct a Huge misconception about God and Abraham...the so called 'God demanding sacrifice'.

In B.C. yes nations sacrificed children/animals [libations, mixing blood with wine of such sacrifices] to offer to the gods/goddesses. As to the spiritual 'why's' I do not know really--have theories but don't know the facts or IF I have spiritual authority [which I don't feel I do] to state them as 'fact'.

I know in OT there are references to the requirement of 'blood' if blood is shed, also that under 'law of good and evil' it requires punishment--though how this works in the Spiritual realm I don't know, there is a hierarchy, and good and evil, etc.

Anyway, when Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac, what many Miss, PRIOR to God asking Abraham to do so, GOD had entered into a covenant with Abraham [covenant means promised agreement/contract/like marriage] and that through Abraham's seed there would come a Savior-etc.,

of course Sarah and Abraham thought they'd help God and there came Hagar, Ishmael, etc., but eventually God did what He said and gave them Isaac, a miracle btw. Anyway, so Abraham KNEW God would do as He told, in those days the people were very well aware the gods/sons of God and God and and the Lord GOD did as they said they would--[read any ancient texts], and the people did Fear them.

When Abraham took Isaac to the mountain, altar, Isaac asked him, where is the lamb/ram? And Abraham said,

GOD WILL PROVIDE ONE,

so, Abraham KNEW God wasn't going to allow or demand to the actual Doing of the sacrifice, because God had already promised--the Lineage Through Isaac. Abraham did not say, God will raise the sacrifice but that GOD WOULD PROVIDE ONE.

And sure enough, God did, the minute Abraham raised up the knife which was common ritual in those days they would cut out hearts,

anyway, an Angel said Don't...then later Jesus was the Lamb, sacrificial lamb.

Of all the religions/ancient they required sacrifices, for fertility and war/Power, God or the Lord God was the only one--that instead, offered up Himself, for fertility [life-eternal life] and war against evil, etc. to save humanity--if they so choose Him, the tree of Life,

and the Covenant, signed by blood [the atonement/animals, etc until Jesus] was promised by God and sealed,

and it's not just forgiveness, it is also about Redemption--redemption buying back 'slaves', when Judas took the money, to turn over Jesus, that represents the slavery, in old B.C. laws and OT law, redemption, to free slaves, from masters/gods/goddesses.

Yes ritual abuse/sacrifices still occur today and they like then, are for POWER, political power especially, for War and for Monetary gain. Trafficking and violence to women/children ARE ritual sacrifices

on the spiritual realm. Or in...whether demanded BY the spiritual realm I cannot say,[the belief of the ancient religions does say they do--but we are not to Revile the gods, Bible says] but out of Fear, Lust for Power, Greed, PEOPLE,

do these abuses, by their own free will. So all in all, the People who do such sacrifices, will be the ones who have to answer one day to God the Most High God,

and the one thing they won't be able to say, is that God required it...because He says, it never entered His mind, and HE provided the Ultimate sacrifice, his only begotten son,

who did NO wrong, the Spotless Lamb, to redeem and to be the propitiation for our sins.

It is fact, there are rituals/sacrifices and mock rituals [usually a lot of sexual abuse] that go on today, in America even, for Power--particularly,

political power.

Love,

Jane

12:11 PM, April 05, 2010  
Blogger Greenconsciousness said...

I thought that whole Abramson thing in the bible was to tell people that God does not want human sacrifice, ie, don't do it- probably there was a lot of god talking about why human sacrifice is bad in that bible story... i don't know ...its not my book. But I do know there is a passage somewhere that says that the fruit of the trees shall be your meat and that was against animal sacrifice but they don't pay much attention to that passage.

Christians can find all sorts of historical Revelations in their bible. What they emphasis reveals who they are. There is a lot of evil in Uganda.

1:23 AM, April 06, 2010  
Blogger Greenconsciousness said...

And God said, Behold, I have given you
every herb bearing seed,
which is upon the face of the earth,
and every tree,
in which is the fruit
and a tree yielding seed;
to you it shall be for meat.
- Genesis 1:29.

1:28 AM, April 06, 2010  

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