(Due to the sensitive nature of this situation, the name of the accused and the country represented is purposely withheld from this article.)
In a community where Bright Hope has been involved for many years, there is a leader associated with Bright Hope who has been accused of witchcraft and the killing of another Bright Hope staff member. These allegations are completely false, yet the Associate Chief of the village initially referred the case to a witch finder.
Using a “witch finder” is an ancient tradition in this village. When someone dies of unique circumstances, such as a crocodile killing a person in the nearby lake, or a young person dying for unknown reasons, a group of people from the village can make the assertion that the death was caused by a curse or witchcraft. This mob will go to a “witch finder,” or witch doctor, who will point to someone and declare that they are the one who brought the curse upon the dead person. The mob will then execute the accused. This terribly evil practice can be used for many nefarious reasons. Sometimes a person might have a grudge against a neighbor. Sometimes it may be a family member who brings the charges in order to gain control of the land and assets of a relative they don’t like.
Since the Associate Chief’s initial ruling to consult a witch finder, the local committee who represents the Chief, has now told the accusers that the case will no longer be going to the witch finder. This is a huge answer to prayer! If the accusers don’t drop the case it will be handled directly by the Chief, and we have reason to believe the Chief would take the side of our friend.
In the meantime, a leader from the church is going to sit with the accusers to ask them to drop the case. He will also show them the law that states the man being accused could actually throw them in jail for accusing him of sorcery.
In recent years, as the church has gotten stronger and more active in this community, the witch finders have accused more and more followers of Christ of witchcraft. We believe this is mostly because Christians are very vocal about their opposition to anything to do with witchcraft. Our friend is getting a lot of support from his church and other members of his family, all of whom are putting pressure on his accusers.
Can I ask you to pause for a few moments and pray for our friend? Pray that his accusers would drop their charges, that his life would be spared, and his name vindicated of these false allegations. Pray against witchcraft and its attacks against fellow believers. Pray that justice would be served in this situation, that the believers would be bold and stand up for truth and that God would be glorified in this village.