Witchcraft and Witch Accusations/Confessions in African Christianity: Theological, Metaphysical and Epistemological Critique
The subject of witchcraft is like a wildfire in Africa which is threatening to burn and distort the Christian faith. It is a common belief found not only among average Christians but one that dominates even pastoral and evangelistic endeavors. In addition to the accusations, there are stories and confessions of witches and wizards which are prevalent in Christian communities. Stories abound of children, women and the vulnerable who have fallen victims of this dangerous development. Some have even lost their lives! The African Christian does not come to the question of witchcraft with a neutral mind. The African comes to the Christian faith with a strong traditional religious belief on the question of evil, pain, death, etc., which provide an organized religious system that explains the presence of pain, sickness, death and all forms of evil. When one is accused of witchcraft, it is almost a done deal that he/she must be guilty, sealed through accusations and confessions, and propagated through stories. Confessions which many times are done under duress/pressure are taken to be the final proof of witchcraft practice. This presentation presents a theological, metaphysical and epistemological critique, throw light on this religious belief and practice that is threatening the very survival of African Christianity.
This presentation was recorded during a track of the 2014
ASM Conference, dedicated to Witchcraft Accusations.
Samuel Waje Kunhiyop, PhD, is the ECWA General Secretary and Executive Secretary of Evangel Fellowship International. He is Professor of Theology and Systematic Theology/Ethics and author of the books “African Christian Ethics” and “African Christian Theology.”