Bishop calls for public/private partnership to combat witchcraft

The head of the Malawi Anglican Bishops Conference has warned that government action is not enough to halt the witchcraft driven killings of albinos in Central Africa.

The head of the Malawi Anglican Bishops Conference has warned that government action is not enough to halt the witchcraft driven killings of albinos in Central Africa. World wide, one in 20,000 people are born with albinism — a lack of skin pigmentation. However the rate of albinism in sub-Saharan Africa is much higher, with Tanzania reporting one in every 1429 births. Cultists and witch doctors prize the body parts of albinos, believing them to have magical properties. The graves of albinos are commonly robbed, while albino children are often stolen from their homes and killed. In a speech last week reported by Malawi24, Bishop Malasa said: “I totally condemn these evil minded acts and urge everyone, to join the battle because the government on its own cannot deal with the matter in the manner or with speed required.” Malawi’s president Peter Mutharika last month declared that he had instructed the police to “make sure that the chase on albinos is stopped” and those who traffic in their body parts face the full penalty of hte law. However, Bishop Malasa said the first step in combatting persecution is to change attitudes and stamp out the belief in witchcraft. It was incumbent upon all Malawians to “make life for these people normal,” he said, adding, “To enjoy life or security is not something someone has to fight for. But as things are, relatives, the civil society, the faith community and all in leadership ought to join forces because we are affected and have to stamp out this evil now.”

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