Witchcraft has a dark side in Uganda, and children are falling victim

ABC News | 7/16/2019 | Staff
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"Child sacrifice is real — it's not a myth. It's a reality and it's happening on a huge scale in Uganda."

Fifteen years ago, young Ugandan pastor Peter Sewakiryanga travelled to Kyampisi, a village he describes as the country's "epicentre of witchcraft".

Eyes - Children - Family - RN - Counterpoint

"I saw, with my own eyes, three children who had been sacrificed from the same family," he tells RN's Counterpoint.

"It broke my heart, I saw the pain of the mother who lost three children.

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"It was real and right in front of me."

Warning: This story contains details that some people may find distressing.

Witchcraft - Uganda - Sacrificing - Animals - Goats

Witchcraft has long been practiced throughout Uganda, and traditionally involves the sacrificing of animals like goats or chickens.

But witch doctors, he says, now claim their work is "more powerful when you sacrifice the blood of a child".

Witch - Doctors - Child - Protection - Sort

"The witch doctors believe that when you sacrifice a child, you get wealth, you get protection, you get some sort of blessing," he says.

"It's a form of desperation that people have because of poverty and disease."

Sacrifice - Mutilation - Children - Parents - Children

He describes child sacrifice as the "ritual mutilation of children". Unbeknown to their parents, children are often kidnapped for these sacrificial practices.

"Children are kidnapped by so-called witch doctors or people that practice witchcraft," Mr Sewakiryanga says.

Body - Parts - Features - Ears - Eyes

"They cut their body parts and most often facial features — it could be ears, it could be eyes poked out, nose, tongues and more often genitals are cut off for ritual practices."

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Children - Injuries

The children are then left for dead. Few survive, and those who do are left with horrific injuries.

Mr Sewakiryanga says the practice bears no genuine relationship to the local culture.

Freedom - Worship - People - Spirits - Witchcraft

"There's freedom of worship and there are people that believe in worshipping ancestral spirits and witchcraft practices," he says.

"But when it comes to...
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