NEWS END OF JULY 2011
I note an increase in recent years (months?) in people from the West who are acting very directly against witchcraft in Africa, e.g. Stepping Stones Nigeria and other organizations. They are, rightly, identifying witchcraft as resulting in terrible practices, in some cases the torturing of children.
In fact, these activist organizations seem not to have, in my view, realized the full damaging effect of 'witchcraft' on the continent of Africa. Instead, they have identified a few particularly visible outcomes of it, and are trying to counter them. They do not perceive all of the mass of effects that witchcraft has that is below the tip of the iceberg.
Meanwhile, many of my African colleagues are deeply engrossed in responding to witchcraft, in some ways that the anti-witchcraft campaigners are condemning. My approach has for many years been to try to work alongside people and not to condemn them. I have wanted to understand them better. Activist organizations such as the above however are 'hitting out', and in the process condemning the actions of many African-Christian pastors.
Many Christian pastors around the continent are, in being very aware of the power of witches and being very active against witches, coming into the firing line of the above organizations; that are simply interpreting African communities through a Western kind of 'filter'.
Please pray for wisdom to know how to respond to witchcraft while ministering on the ground, and also in my writing and wider communication. There are good reasons why witchcraft beliefs are VERY difficult to eradicate, pray for the many people entrapped by them. Some anti-witchcraft campaigners are not aware to how great an extent the Gospel of Christ is and has been THE remedy for witchcraft.
Meanwhile, yes, I am deeply engrossed in anti-witchcraft campaigns led by local pastors, and next week a group of university students engaging in the same in villages close to my home. I have been asked to be one of the translators (between Dholuo/English/Kiswahili) to help the students who are due to come next week.
PS Please do see: 2012 Mission Conferences