Uganda (MNN) — As famine looms in Uganda, child sacrifice is on the rise. The crisis hits the
poorest living in the north and east, fueling the demand for the rituals.
A police report
confirms 23 deaths since the beginning of the year. One child abuse worker helping ANPPCAN Uganda
says while child sacrifice used to occur mainly in the Ugandan central region,
unemployment and poverty have given way to a new kind of witch doctor who
practices in a wider geographical area.
Lee DeYoung with Words of Hope agrees and notes a startling trend: "The numbers have increased,
and at least in some cases, those have been the bodies of children of
Christian radio broadcasts have contributed to the growth of the church.
DeYoung says, "The church is being mobilized to speak against this
terrible evil. When a child is executed in this kind of ritual sacrifice
fashion, it is a violation of Ugandan law. However, human trafficking is less
clearly prohibited in the legal code."
The rise of the grisly practice has been slow, but
steady. According to government reports,
last year ritual ceremonies linked more
than 300 cases of murder and disappearances. Only a handful of perpetrators were found.
This year, DeYoung says there's an increasingly aggressive
presence of witchcraft. The government
appointed a specially trained police task force on human sacrifice. Since then, there have been 15 more
murders. The slayings were linked to
human sacrifice. That concerns police,
who are investigating another 200 disappearances.
DeYoung urges prayer. This
troubling circumstance is more than a gauge for socio-economic
performance. It's warfare. "It does seem that where the Gospel is
spreading, the enemy retaliates. We need to be in prayer that those who
experience this may be able to respond, may be able to persevere, and that the
Lord's provision will prevail."