Skeptic News: Malawi battles witchcraft, with help from Norway

witches_0From: Global Post

Malawi’s leading anti-witchcraft civil group said Tuesday it has received $600,000 from the government of Norway to help eradicate sorcery.

The funds would be used to conduct a three-year nationwide drive to educate people against the dangers of witchcraft.

A preliminary investigation documented multiple cases of witch hunts and instances where witchdoctors raped women and girls in an attempt to exorcise them.

“Women, children and the elderly are subjected to an alarming rate of witchcraft accusations and violence in Malawi,” said George Thindwa, who heads the Association for Secular Humanism (ASH).

Witchcraft was outlawed in Malawi under a 1911 British colonial-era law.

The Norwegian ambassador to Malawi is quoted as saying  it was “amazing how little attention has been paid to these grave issues.”

“It seems as if everybody is aware of the belief in witchcraft, including the violent hunting of alleged witches, but when discussing politics, economy or social questions, everybody seems to ignore the problem.”

As Skeptics we should welcome these efforts to educate and inform people about the abusive and illegal practices of those who claim to practice witchcraft or traditional medicine.

Witchcraft has too long been used as an excuse for the abuse and manipulation of women and children.

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