Witch Hunts In The News

Congo’s “Child Witches” are Being Exorcised

Congo’s “Child Witches” are Being Exorcised. Squeezing a toddler’s eyeballs and shoving his thumb into her tiny nose, a Catholic priest purges a child of the devil, one of many exorcisms he carries out every day.

Flicked with holy water, her face smeared with olive oil and poked violently in the stomach, two-and-a-half-year old Angel bursts into tears as she is rid of the evil spirits that lurk within her. The child wriggles to free herself but her mother holds on firmly, insistent that she endures the exorcism to protect her from the sorcery that many in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) believe controls their lives.

  • There are around 50,000 children living on the streets of Kinshasa, all abandoned after being accused of witchcraft
  • The communities say they are capable of horrific crimes, drinking the blood and eating the flesh of their relatives
  • But a lot of the time the children are rejected simply because their parents cannot afford the extra mouth to feed
  • It means the children – some newborn – are left to fend for themselves, turning to crime and prostitution to survive
  • But there are people working to help these desperate children, and the UN’s new ‘global goals’ hope that the drivers of this horrific tradition, poverty and a lack of education, will be completely eradicated in the next 15 years
  • MailOnline has visited Kinshasa to find out more about this horrific belief, and the impact it has on the children

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Malengeli, who is just six, has made the streets his home since being named a “witch”.
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