The Nairobi Colloquium, held in March 2013 at African International University, included 50 theologians and church leaders and served to launch the witchcraft discussion and motivate further efforts and initiatives. Here’s a brief summary of what we’ve been up to since:
Participant Follow-up Activities
The following have been carried out by participants of the 2013 Nairobi Colloquium:
August of 2013: Dr. Steve Rasmussen, an AIU professor, and Joshua Lusato, principal of Katunguru Bible School, carried out workshops in Tanzania with Sukuma pastors and other leaders focused on witch accusations and featuring especially the stories of those who’ve been accused of being witches. By every indicator that conference was a great success. Sukuma pastors are making plans for further workshops of this sort.
June of 2014: One track at the American Society of Missiology focused on witch accusations. Presenters included: Samuel Kunhiyop, Zachs Gaiya, Timothy Stabell, Steve Rasmussen, Timothy Nyasulu, Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, John Jusu, & R. Priest. Recordings of these presentations can be accessed in the Henry Center resource page.
August of 2014: Opoku Onyinah, Andy Alo, Timothy Stabell, and Robert Priest spoke in Kinshasa, Congo, at a 3-day pastors’ conference focused on child witches.
November of 2014: John Jusu and Steve Rasmussen co-taught a pastoral counseling course focused on witch accusations at AIU.
- In addition to the above, T. Stabell, J. Jusu, O. Onyinah, S. Rasmussen (among others) have spoken and taught in numerous venues.
- R. Priest spoke to the theological faculty of Stollenbosch U (Jan of 2014) & was interviewed (Jan 26, 2014) for the Research on Religion Podcast of Baylor’s Institute for the Study of Religion. It is accessible at Reach on Religion.
- The International Bulletin of Missionary Research focused on witch accusations in a theme issue (Jan 2015), the first ever treatment of this topic in this journal, and carried articles by Robert Priest, Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, and Steve Rasmussen.
- In addition, John Evans published the paper he presented at our conference (in the Tyndale Bulletin) and R. Priest published another article for the January 2015 issue of Missiology.
- Additionally, T. McCall is including a chapter on the topic in a forthcoming book, and S. Kunhiyop and S. Rasmussen are working on a book for African pastors on the topic.
Research Carried Out
- With funding from Bethany Children’s Trust, an 82-item questionnaire (prepared by R. Priest) on child witchcraft is currently being administered to 1,000 pastors in Kinshasa.
- Various students (from AIU and including the TEDS PhD student Zachs Gaiya) are planning or are already carrying out dissertation research on this topic.