American connections to African witchhunts
Diane Vera printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 10:34:55 PM EST
Throughout Africa -- mainly in Christian countries -- vast numbers of children have been abandoned by their parents, or worse, often maimed or tortured, on suspicion of being "witches."

The witch hunts aren't just a resurgence of indigenous beliefs.  They are part of a new and rapidly growing worldwide religious movement within the Pentecostal/charismatic branch of Christianity.

Aggressive crusades against alleged malevolent "witches" are encouraged by the "spiritual warfare" doctrines of some major leaders of one of the world's fastest-growing international religious movements, the "apostolic and prophetic" wing of Pentecostal/Charismatic Christianity.

One well-known adherent of this movement is Sarah Palin, about whom see Sarah Palin's 'Witchcraft Problem' Is Bigger Than Christine O'Donnell's 'Witchcraft Problem' by Bruce Wilson, September 21, 2010, on Talk To Action -- the blog which first broke the story of how, when Sarah Palin first went into politics, she was "anointed" by Thomas Muthee, an internationally recognized (within at least one sector of the Pentecostal/charismatic world) "apostle" who gave her a blessing to protect her against "witches."  Other, even more explosive aspects of this story have not yet reached the mass media, though they are well-documented here on Talk To Action.  Among other things, Thomas Muthee has acted as a witch hunter in Africa.

Traditionally, to most Christians, the term "spiritual warfare" has usually referred to an internal moral struggle.  However, to growing numbers of "apostolic and prophetic" leaders such as C. Peter Wagner and Ed Silvoso, "spiritual warfare" means things like exorcism, witch hunts (a.k.a. "spiritual mapping"), burning non-Christian religious artifacts, and "discipling" whole nations -- including their governments, not just individual citizens.

A leading network within this movement, the New Apostolic Reformation, has an explicitly theocratic goal, the "seven mountains mandate":  they explicitly desire to take over seven spheres of power in society including government.  And they aim to eradicate what they see as demonic influences, including gays and all non-Christian religions.  Their successes in some countries, such as Uganda, have had dire consequences such as Uganda's kill-the-gays bill.

Adherents of the "New Apostolic Reformation" include major American politicians such as Sarah Palin (via witch hunter Mary Glazier's prayer network).  Its "convening apostle" is C. Peter Wagner, whose various organizations are headquartered in Colorado Springs, here in the U.S.A.

Besides Sarah Palin's prayer mentor Mary Glazier, another American avowed witch hunter was the notorious former megachurch pastor Ted Haggard.  (According to Soldiers of Christ: Insider America's Most Powerful Megachurch by Jeff Sharlet, Harper's Magazine, November 2, 2006:  "He sent teams to pray in front of the homes of supposed witches -- in one month, ten out of fifteen of his targets put their houses on the market. His congregation 'prayer-walked' nearly every street of the city.")  Before he was caught with a male prostitute a few years ago, Ted Haggard worked closely with C. Peter Wagner.

The currently most notorious African witchhunter, Helen Ukpapio, was consecrated as an "apostle" by Nnadi E. Moses, whose American connections have been documented by Richard Bartholomew, in a blog post about Support for Helen Ukpabio against "Anti-Child Witchcraft" Campaign, February 13, 2010.  It is not yet clear to me whether Helen Ukpabio and Nnadi E. Moses are involved in the "New Apostolic Reformation" in particular, but Ukpabio's title of "apostle" suggests that she is at least an adherent of the "apostolic and prophetic" movement.

Here in New York City, on Thursday, September 30, New Yorkers Against Religion-Based Bigotry (NYARBB) will hold a  meeting on the topic of "American Connections to African Witchhunts."  If you are interested in attending, please see details and RSVP here.

We ask mainstream Christians -- and non-theocratic evangelicals, Pentecostals, and charismatics -- to speak out against the witch hunts.  We ask non-Christians to become aware of what is going on and to encourage Christians to speak out.

Given the current hullabaloo over Christine O'Donnell's alleged dabbling "into witchcraft," we may now have a better-than-usual opportunity to attract the mass media's attention to this issue.  For the sake of both Africa's children and the separation of church and state here in the U.S.A., please do whatever you can to help expose the American connections to African witchhunts.

For more information, see:

For more about the "New Apostolic Reformation" (NAR), see:

Diane, I posted a related article titled "Ask Christine O'Donnell the Right Questions - Not if She is a Witch."  

Basically I'm arguing that the issue here is Christine O'Donnell's apparent belief in the mythology that there are Satan worshippers who are sacrificing people in the woods all around us.  I point out the background of these dangerous myths as well as the current obsession with demons.

by Rachel Tabachnick on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 01:17:23 PM EST

Here's an updated link to a copy of "Soldiers of Christ: Insider America's Most Powerful Megachurch" by Jeff Sharlet, Harper's Magazine November 2, 2006, about Ted Haggard.

by Diane Vera on Thu Dec 25, 2014 at 01:09:21 PM EST
Soldiers of Christ: Insider America's Most Powerful Megachurch -- link to a complete copy, whereas the previous updated link is to an incomplete copy that ends in the middle of a sentence.

by Diane Vera on Thu Dec 25, 2014 at 03:31:49 PM EST
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