Even before leaving the US, I learned about the phenomenon of “Enfants Sorciers”, children who are accused of witchcraft. There was a broadcast on a US TV channel that decried this phenomenon.
One of the first news that I watched on local TV channels was indeed referring to these children. A woman told the story of a child who “landed” on the roof of her house while she was asleep. She wondered if the noise she heard was made by a cat walking on the roof or something else. She came to realize that it was a child (she appeared to be about 10 years old). When interrogated, the child, whose face was masked, said she has witchcraft. Her aunt gave it to her. The journalist went on saying that the rest of the matter will be followed by the police and local court.
This is one of many accounts that one can come across these days. The phenomenon of children accused of having witchcraft is not new. However, it has recently taken dangerous proportions. It has become a social phenomenon that affect children nowadays, like the child soldier and street children phenomena in the past. The common denominator here is that children of all walks of life, mainly from poor families, not middle class are affected. Usually these children who are accused of witchcraft mentions a family member, rarely their parents, as the initiator of sorcery. The question is not whether witchcraft exists. The question is how to help those children live a normal life, get opportunity to be educated and climb the social ladder.
Even more disturbing is the fact that pastors of revival churches, who are meant to be people of God, have been accused of joining the cycle of stigmatizing children of having witchcraft. During the prayer session, they claim to have been spoken by God, who tells them about child sorcerers.
The phenomenon is a real social issue. No one person can tell you openly what they believe is happening, if anyone knows. Most people don’t actually talk about witchcraft openly. This is a taboo subject. It is difficult to know how one gets “inducted” and how the whole phenomenon works. Even wanting to know seems a dangerous idea to everyone. At the end of the day, there are more and more people, mostly children accused of witchcraft. This is an interesting subject one can study, in order to understand the correlation between economic crisis, household responsibility and child sorcerers. Any taker?