The Popular African ‘Gospel’ Movement To Torture Children

By Bryan Johnson on Monday, October 21, 2013
This child was too shy to look at the camera.
“Efforts must be made to stop this evangelical throwback from spreading her diseased gospel.” —Leo Igwe

In A Nutshell

Helen Ukpabio is a Nigerian woman who founded the Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries organization. The group has a reputation for spreading bizarre interpretations of the Bible and targeting children for abuse. In her teachings, Ukpabio preaches that the devil has the ability to manifest himself in children by way of demonic possession. She is directly responsible for a rise in the number of African infants that have been abused, tortured, labeled witches, and abandoned by their parents.

The Whole Bushel

Helen Ukpabio is a Nigerian woman known for spreading bizarre and false information. In her teachings, Helen tells parents that Satan has the ability to manifest himself in their children by way of demonic possession. She takes advantage of uneducated people in order to spread propaganda that has led to the torture or abandonment of thousands of African children, and despite her irrational claims of witchcraft, the Gospel Ministries organization has started to grow in Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, and Nigeria.

In her book Unveiling the Mysteries of Witchcraft, Helen says: “If a child under the age of two screams in the night, cries and is always feverish with deteriorating health, he or she is a servant of Satan.” She doesn’t mention the fact that children in Africa often live in poor health conditions and experience these exact symptoms, as do all children at some point in their lives.

Ukpabio has published a large collection of books in an attempt to convince people that children have the ability to become witches and wizards. As a direct result of her teachings, West Africa has seen a massive rise in the number of children accused of being witches. In order to take advantage of people’s faith and target children for removal from their families, she has even cited J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series, arguing that if Westerners don’t take Rowling’s work seriously, then she is a hapless victim of Western racism.

Once a child is targeted as a witch, they undergo a series of horrible abuses. They are given an official “exorcism” in which they may be splashed with acid, buried alive, abandoned by the roadside, cast out of the village, or dipped in fire. In all cases, church officials profit from the exorcisms, and Ukpabio is paid well by her followers. In hopes of stopping the bizarre teachings, many organizations have started to become educated on the Gospel Ministries, publishing articles in an attempt to help teach the African populace that witches don’t necessarily exist, but child abuse certainly does.

Show Me The Proof

NY Times: On a Visit to the U.S., a Nigerian Witch-Hunter Explains Herself
The Guardian: Children are targets of Nigerian witch hunt