There are lots of things we take for granted in this society. As much as we bitch, we are not hunted down for what we believe or do with our lives, at least not yet. It seems as far as society advances, it also takes several steps back. A man is being held in Nigeria right now for claiming to have killed 110 child witches.
It dawns on me, that many of us in this society would be in serious trouble if this sort of thing would happen in our American society, but fortunately, clearer minds normally prevail. What is happening right now in Nigeria, and by and large the entire African continent, in unfathomable in this modern age. Many child rights organizations claim that scores of children are being abandoned, seriously injured, or killed, because their families or neighbors believe them to be Witches. Much of what is being perpetrated is done by so-called Pastors who exercise the demons for a fee, which usually results in the disappearance or death of the child. In the web of interconnections, there also seems a very strong link to Human Trafficking, with the fears of the community being played upon so that modern slavers can have children to trade and abuse. These poor children suffer such fates as being abandoned, tossed into rivers to drown, chopped up with machetes, or forced to bathe in acid. It is sick that the church profits from the death of these poor souls.
While the phenomenon in Nigeria is a relatively new occurrence and seems to have it's roots in ignorance and poverty, this is also starting to occur more frequently in places closer to home, such as Mexico. In the last few years several murders have taken place there which seem related to this phenomenon, including the burning of a supposed witch. It seems religious and cultural fears are being played up to the already desperate among us.
How does this relate to us? Education. We must strive to ensure that ignorance does not overwhelm common sense. We must maintain our values and tolerance, and overcome the hate being spewed by those institutions which seek to gain from it. As people's lives get harder, they cling to hatred, religion, and eventually succumb to outmoded superstitions forced upon them by the powers that be. This is especially true as it seems the US is starting down a road to economic woes and people trying to pass blame on others. We must not let it happen to us.