This morning, on the radio there was an extensive report on witchcraft in the "African community" living in the UK - talking about a "pastor" who repeatedly allegedly told parents who were members of his church that their children were possessed and/or were witches and needed to have the witchcraft beaten out of them or even killed. Horrific though the report was, I was disturbed by the fact that throughout the report, there were references suggesting that these beliefs and practices were common in the African community , yet all the specific references and instances presented were to only two countries-the Congo and Angola.
I will not even try to start to unpick what appeared to be the subtext of the whole report and investigation; and while I would be the last person to ask that wrongdoing be swept under the carpet, it is disheartening that in 2006, the supposedly liberal and enlightened BBC still sees Africa as one huge, unyielding mass of misery, and is unable to discern the rich complex weave that is Africa
As to the assertion that these beliefs and practices are common in the "African community" in the UK, I ask- where is the evidence ? I have a wide network of Nigerian friends, colleagues and family living in the UK and have never come across these beliefs or practices among them.
There are many self professed Caucasian English witches and only yesterday on the same programme, there was reference to a scandal in northern Wales about ten years ago where several children were taken into care because their parents were thought (falsely as it later turned out) to have been subjecting them to "Satanic rituals and abuse", and it did not lead to suggestions that these beliefs and practices were rife among the population of this Northern Welsh town or Welsh people in general.......