Committee Against Satanic Panics: Witchhunts in Africa and Asia
We will discuss the (literal) witchhunts now happening in some countries in Africa and Asia. And we'll discuss the connections between some African witchhunters and some American religious right wingers (e.g. Sarah Palin). And we'll discuss ways to raise awareness about the witchhunts here in the West.
In some parts of Africa and Asia today, vast numbers of children are being abandoned or worse - often murdered, tortured, or mutilated - because they are suspected of being witches. Women too are often targeted, more so than men.
Worse yet, there are religious trends based here in the U.S.A. that have exacerbated the witchhunts. For example, Sarah Palin was “annointed,” with a blessing to protect her against witches, by neo-Pentecostal pastor Thomas Muthee, who is also an African witchhunter. Sarah Palin and Thomas Muthee are both part of the New Apostolic Reformation, a fast-growing international movement within Pentecostal Christianity and within “non-denominational” neo-Pentecostal Christianity. This movement’s practices include “strategic level spiritual warfare” (exorcism of “territorial demons”) and “occult level spiritual warfare” (witchhunts, at least in the form of praying against suspected witches, and sometimes worse). Here in the U.S.A., the now-disgraced former megachurch Pastor Ted Haggard once boasted of having driven suspected witches out of town.
In the past, Christian missionaries often discouraged witchhunts. But, today, the fastest-growing forms of Christianity, worldwide, are Pentecostalism and “non-denominational” neo-Pentecostalism, within which a rapidly growing movement is the New Apostolic Reformation, whose beliefs and practices encourage a witchhunt mentality.
Fortunately, there are some indigenous organizations opposing the witchhunts, and there are some indigenous secular charities that help victims of the witchhunts. We will discuss ways to raise awareness here in NYC, with the aim of encouraging various large groups around here to hold fundraisers to benefit indigenous anti-witchhunt activists and charities.
For more information, including links to news stories, see this thread on our message board (https://www.meetup.com/nyarbb/messages/boards/thread/7563607/). If you come across any other news stories about witchhunts (in the literal sense), please post links there.
Location and how to find us: We'll be meeting at a diner on 23rd Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, closer to 7th. (The exact address, and other details, will be visible to you once you join this Meetup group.) The nearest subway stop is 23rd Street on the 1, 2, and 3 lines (7th Avenue). Other nearby subway stops are 23rd Street on the F line (6th Avenue), and 23 Street on the E and C lines (8th Avenue). For those coming from outside the city, the diner is also near the PATH train station at 23rd Street and 6th Avenue, and it is approximately a 10-minute walk from Penn Station.
Ask a waiter for "New Yorkers Against Religion-Based Bigotry."
We'll be at a table (or possibly a booth) near the BACK of the diner. There will be some NYARBB literature on the table.