Thousands of children in Africa’s Niger Delta are being denounced by Christian pastors as witches and wizards, resulting in a horrifying consequence: they are killed, tortured or abandoned by their own families. Ellin, a two-and-a-half-year-old child, was found at the side of the road with severe burns from boiling water. Nwanakwo, an eight year old boy, had acid poured on him after being labeled as a wizard – he died shortly afterwards.
These unfortunate stories are all too real for many children living in the Niger Delta region – and these events have come to light through a new documentary called ‘A Witch Hunt’. This powerful film follows the lives of several children and their families before and during their ‘exorcism’ rituals, shedding light on this tragic reality.
The ‘witch hunt’ phenomenon is rooted in superstition and deeply entrenched cultural beliefs that remain prevalent in much of rural Africa. Many churches actively promote such beliefs, claiming that families must rid themselves of these ‘evil spirits’. In response to this religious rhetoric, many parents resort to drastic measures such as those mentioned above. The documentary also examines how government authorities are reluctant to intervene due to social stigma.
What makes this story even more heartbreaking is how many of these cases go unreported – leaving thousands of children vulnerable and unprotected. Through ‘A Witch Hunt’, viewers can gain insight into the lives affected by this cruel practice, while also learning about ways to help end it. We strongly urge everyone to watch this documentary and take action to protect these innocent lives from further harm.