A unique epidemic is spreading across Africa, unknown to most of the world. The health problems, death, infertility, and financial struggles of many Africans are widely being attributed to the actions of “witches”, thought to be acting through evil occult power. Elderly women, widows, orphaned children, strangers, and the mentally ill are those most often accused of witchcraft. Many are coerced into confessing under duress, and some are even lynched by their own communities. Christian leaders must walk a tightrope, acknowledging the undeniable impact of genuine witchcraft while rebuking false accusations against the innocent. This is an exhausting and confusing endeavor requiring God-given discernment.
The Nairobi Colloquium
In 2013, the HCTU supported TEDS faculty Robert Priest and Tite Tiénou as they organized a conference, held in Nairobi, Kenya at Africa International University. This meeting, dubbed the “Nairobi Colloquium”, called together 50 scholars, primarily from Africa, to discuss this growing issue. Meeting in small groups, participants shared case studies and identified Biblical truths which can inform our understanding of witchcraft, counter witch accusations, and underpin pastoral counseling. This conference was a wild success, spawning many subsequent meetings, lectures, writings, and research projects.