Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hundreds of children being accused of witchcraft 'as belief in demonic possession spreads across the UK' - 14th May 2011

Hundreds of witchcraft abuse cases are going unreported across the country each year, it has been revealed.

Officials believe child protection officers are only tipped off in the most extreme cases when a child's life has been put in danger.

Just 38 cases have been reported in the last five years - and it is feared that they represent just the tip of the iceberg.

Hundreds of children may be left to starve, beaten and having chili rubbed into their eyes.

Youngsters born with physical and mental difficulties are most at risk from abuse.

Relatives often believe that the children are 'possessed' and the torture is carried out as a form of exorcism.

Extreme evangelical Christian churches - most prevalent in the Democratic Republic of Congo - have grown significantly in recent years and their influence is thought to have spread to groups in the UK.

A decade ago the death of Victoria Climbie suffered appalling injuries at the hands of her aunt and boyfriend who believed she was possessed by the devil, sparking huge public anger.

The eight-year-old had 128 injuries on her body in a case described by a pathologist as one of the worst ever child abuse cases.

She tied up, hit with bike chains and attacked with lighted cigarettes.

As officials try to combat the extreme beliefs, social services have been issued with a new set of guidelines to help them deal with youngsters from religious and ethnic minority backgrounds who could suffer abuse, The Times revealed.

The Metropolitan Police are working on their scheme to deal with religious-based child abuse to place extra emphasis on dealing with tackling witchcraft and abuse.

Witchcraft is most often found in the Democratic Republic of Congo and surrounding countries. Read More