When we hear about abuse within churches these days we often think about sexual abuse by leaders. But there are other forms of abuse that happen in other parts of the world. The following link talks about abuse that happens as a child is accused of being a witch or engaging the demonic world. In our Global Trauma Recovery course, we looked at some of the ways adult women in Ghana are accused of sorcery and who must then flee to witch camps to save their lives. The link below addresses the abuse of children labeled demonic in the DRC.
When you finish reading, you might sigh with relief that this isn’t a problem in the US church. Well, maybe not so fast? If you check out the lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries, there are equally distressing accounts of abuse and cover-up.
DR Congo’s Withcraft Epidemic: 50,000 Children Accused of Sorcery – IBTimes UK.
RiftValleyInstitute (@RVInews) tweeted at 5:05 AM on Wed, May 08, 2013: A day-to-day syllabus of #RVI’s Great Lakes Course 2013 by @jasonkstearns: http://t.co/nsXB5PsfS9 Apply online: http://t.co/CvKbc7VdEH (https://twitter.com/RVInews/status/332058734308257792) Get the official Twitter app at https://twitter.com/download Check out the syllabus! Would love to take this class. Interesting that it is going on the week we will be in Rwanda.
Followers of this blog will know that I have been to Eastern Congo and am passionate about the people there. You also know that there is a rather ugly and complex struggle for power in that region. This link to a Huff Post opinion piece provides an insight to some of those current complexities from an insider’s perspective. For example, some found the M23 group as elevating safety over that of the government soldiers. And yet, the M23 group may be funded by outsiders with evil intent.
I highly recommend you read it. You might ask why, since what goes on in the DRC has little to do with your life. You should care because,
- the extent of the recent decades of disaster there will boggle your mind and overshadow nearly every other disaster you care about
- these are our brothers and sisters and we are called to love our neighbor
The author, Julia Lewis, concludes her essay this way
The sad fact is that violence in the DRC is constant. As Congolese activist Vava Tampa recently reported in an article on CNN, the conflicts in DRC
… have claimed nearly the same number of lives as having a 9/11 attack every single day for 360 days, the genocide that struck Rwanda in 1994, the ethnic cleansing that overwhelmed Bosnia in the mid-1990s, the genocide that took place in Darfur, the number of people killed in the great tsunami that struck Asia in 2004, and the number of people who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki — all combined and then doubled.
What will happen next in DRC? Anything is possible — and we need the world to keep listening. As many as 5.4 million people died in the last Congo war. That is fact, not fiction. And we cannot afford for it to happen again.