Standing in the Gap — no.8

— praying for children accused of witchcraft.

"That is why Jesus became one of us. He died to destroy the devil, who had power over death. But he also died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying." — Hebrews 2:14–15 (CEV)

Context

Last year, SCWA sent a team of workers to travel the length of Togo, meeting with people in villages and towns and talking about accusations of witchcraft against children. Many people were afraid to speak openly of this phenomenon, even though they acknowledged a widespread awareness of its existence and the harm it caused. Much of this reluctance to speak related to fear: fear of bringing harm upon themselves and fear of death. When a death occurs, this is itself often a trigger of witchcraft accusations as people try to make sense of such loss. Fear of death can make people slaves. Only Jesus can set them free.

Jesus died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying. — Hebrews 2:15

Thank God

  • Thank God for giving us a way to be free from the fear of death, through Jesus, and for giving us opportunities to bring freedom to others who are slaves to fear.
  • Fear of death is not insurmountable. We thank you, God, for SCWA and its network of collaborators, who are bringing a message of hope and reconciliation to those accused of witchcraft and to those who accuse others.

Please Pray

  • Recently, an academic team in the UK agreed to analyse the research into the roots, realities and responses of witchcraft accusations, performed in Togo villages and towns last year. Pray that this work will bring greater understanding of the issues — and Togo’s specific context — and support the efforts of local church leaders in addressing child witchcraft accusations.
  • Pray that, through gentle exploration, affected communities and churches will be equipped to discuss both witchcraft accusations and the fear of death in a way that brings light, love, reconciliation and hope for the future. Where death, violence and rejection divide, we pray that forgiveness will heal.
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