There is another reason why you should raise your voice in protest against Pastor Enoch Adeboye’s planned tour of the Pacific in November, besides his extreme anti-gay stance. We need to end witch hunting around the globe.
Witch persecution ended in Europe and most parts of the western world centuries ago. But this violent campaign continues in many regions of the world mainly due to the activities of some christian churches, pastors and other religious actors.. To stop witch hunting, witch hunters must be checkmated and stopped.
Witch finding initiatives must be nipped in the bud. Witch hunting movement must be exposed. Witchcraft claims must be challenged and critically examined. Any scheme to export witch hunting goods and services to other countries and regions must be opposed.
By protesting this evangelical tour, you will be drawing attention to a process that is likely to compound efforts to eradicate witch hunts in the Pacific region.
Witch hunt is a problem in Africa and among Africans. Witch hunting is also a cultural scourge that is ravaging many countries and communities in the Pacific region. Recently cases of witch hunting in Papua New Guinea – one of the countries Adeboye is visiting – attracted world wide outrage and condemnation.
The people of Papua New Guinea and other countries in the region would not want to have another spiritual movement that will add or compound this problem. They do not need an evangelical group that will revive or re-ignite these savage beliefs and practices. The people of the Pacific region would not want any pastor or church to export or extend ‘a christian-pentecostal-coated African witch hunt’ to the region. The Pacific brand of sorcery is bad enough.
Witchcraft beliefs pre-date christianity in Africa, African people have been engaging in witchcraft accusations and witch findings before christian missionaries arrived the shores of the region. Christian missionaries condemned witch beliefs and practices and coerced Africans to abandoned the ‘pagan’ beliefs and embraced the christian faith. ‘Witchcraft entrepreneurship’ has been the business of witch doctors, not christian clerics and churches.
But today things have changed. Witch finding is now the business of christian clerics and churches, particularly pentecostal charismatic churches. Evangelical pastors, like Enoch Adeboye, are the ‘modern day’ African witch doctors. They bind,’cleanse’ and cast away the demonic spirit of witchcraft.
Many African priests and pastors have, in the quest for spiritual relevance, material wealth and prosperity, and competition for members, appropriated the roles of witch doctors and turned their churches into witch hunting spiritual movements. They have made witch finding and deliverance part of their spiritual business and industry.
Pastor Enoch Adeboye is a stakeholder in this business. He is one of the clerical gladiators in the imaginary warfare of witchcraft and sorcery in Africa. Adeboye is a witch believing pastor, and his church – the Redeemed Christian Church of God – is a witch delivering spiritual movement.
Adeboye devotes his sermons to denouncing the ‘witches and wizards’ in the families and communities. He organizes ministrations and gives prophecies against witchcraft and other imaginary diabolical agents threatening the lives and estate of the church members. Pastor Adeboye delivers sermons proclaiming God’s ‘superiority over all witches, occultic and diabolical agents’ in the communities.
These sermons are literally misguided and inciteful. They are evangelical propaganda crafted to poison family and social relations. Adeboye’s sermons contain gospel narratives that reinforce witchcraft mentality and enchantment in the minds of the people. The activities of Pastor Adeboye and his Redeemed Christian Church of God instil witchcraft fears and anxieties. Their evangelism nourishes witchcraft suspicions and insinuations. Adeboye’s ministry recharges witchcraft images and imaginaries, and spreads witch frenzy, panic and hysteria. His sermons drive church members to attribute their problems to evil spirits or to evil magic and machinations of ‘enemies’ within the families and communities.
Is this the brand of evangelism Pastor Adeboye wants to extend to the Pacific region? If Nigerians have allowed themselves to be manipulated and exploited by this virulent form of evangelism, do Adeboye and his church members think that other parts of the world will condone it?
The evangelical charade of the Redeemed Christian Church of God should not be taken to other countries. It has no place in an enlightened society. But those who decide – for some reason – to take this virulent form of pentecostal christianity and spiritual abracadabra to more civilized countries should be ready to face ridicule, protests or prosecution.