Standing in the Gap — no.3d
— praying for children accused of witchcraft.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. — Proverbs 31:8–9.
In some societies, children have little status. Many are marginalised, mistreated and suffer at the hands of those whose duty it is to care for and nurture them. It’s often the most vulnerable — those with no voice — who are accused of practising witchcraft and treated as scapegoats for the ills of their societies. Globally, countless numbers of children (and many adults) are abused and outcast because they are perceived to be witches and yet very few churches, agencies, or governments are doing anything about it. Silence and inertia prevail in the face of this abuse. Please join us in praying for the silence to be broken and for God to raise up advocates who will act and speak out with and on behalf of the most vulnerable.
Thank God for progress:
Over the past few years, Stop Child Witch Accusations (SCWA) has joined with others to urge the United Nations (UN) to be proactive in addressing witchcraft accusations and associated violence against children and adults. Thank God that progress is being made! At the end of a conference in Lancaster earlier this year, a UN Special Rapporteur disclosed that they have a mandate with the Pan–African Parliament to develop guidelines to address witchcraft accusations. Please pray that this initiative will come to full fruition and provide the foundation upon which further advocacy and action can take place that will bring an end to this abuse. Pray that in the coming year the UN will successfully pass a resolution on harmful practices related to accusations of witchcraft against children and adults.
Speak up… and see that they get justice.
Praise God that in some areas, advocacy is increasingly taking place at grassroots level thanks to church and community leaders being trained using SCWA’s Heart of the Matter resource. In Masisi, D.R.Congo, trained church leaders are now working with the local authorities and police to enforce child protection, and families are also being impacted:
"There are parents who come to us in the church for help when they think their children are witches. It is usually not hard to get to the bottom of what is really causing the problem in the family or the difficult behaviour of the child and once that has been addressed, parents say that their children’s behaviour has totally changed, as has their belief that their child is a witch." — Church Leader in Masisi.
- for more Christian churches and agencies to become aware of this issue and to integrate a holistic response to it in their programmes.
- for Governments and the UN to take this issue seriously and to work together with those ‘on the ground’ to tackle it. Pray that they will dedicate the resources needed to address it, for the sake of the children and adults accused of being witches who are experiencing unspeakable suffering.
And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. — Micah 6:8.