News and Prayer Update - Spring 2017


'The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.'
(Luke 4:18-19)

We are seeing Jesus’ words in action within the SCWA movement. We are seeing blind eyes being opened to the realities of witchcraft accusations against children, and to the horrors of the abuse related to it. (See Pastor Kinkoni’s story.) At the same time, we are seeing Jesus setting the oppressed free – children who have been oppressed, shunned, threatened and mistreated. The attitudes that underpin this kind of treatment are being challenged and changed. And we are seeing good news proclaimed, in DR Congo and Togo in particular – the good news that our God loves and cherishes children and wants them to be free to thrive. Let’s take heart from seeing God at work and let’s press on in prayer, asking that this will truly be the year of His favour on vulnerable children.

Pastor Kinkoni's story

EPED, based in Kinshasa, DR Congo, partners with the Bethany Children's Trust, one of SCWA's founding organisations. EPED recently held a training workshop for church leaders, hoping to equip the participants to address witchcraft accusations against children in their communities, and to create environments where children would be safe and able to thrive. The workshop was a huge success, with many church leaders committing to make their churches places where children are secure and valued.
Pastor Andre Kinkoni is a striking example of the workshop’s impact. Prior to the training workshop, he would regularly accuse children of witchcraft and abuse them; depriving them of food and pouring candlewax on their heads, to make them confess that they were ‘witches’. The change in Pastor Kinkoni is dramatic. Since the workshop, he has turned his back on his earlier practices and committed to safeguard the children in his community.

Why I’m part of SCWA – Stephanie Mooney

We’re delighted that Stephanie Mooney of Feba has just joined SCWA’s steering group. Stephanie brings extensive experience of mission and understanding of African cultures. She tells us:
‘My involvement in SCWA stems from a street-living children project that Feba is working with in Kinshasa. While street living children want to talk about their situation, child witchcraft accusations are something that most other people want to avoid talking about or constructively responding to. SCWA is helping me to further understand the root causes of this issue and the role the church plays in this.
‘I very much appreciate SCWA’s knowledge of this subject, which is based on real engagement and conversation with the churches and children who have been impacted by witchcraft accusations. And I value SCWA’s approach to supporting frontline efforts to tackle this issue, as their approach is grounded in faith and theology.
‘I hope to help SCWA raise awareness of child witchcraft accusations and its root causes and to use media to change attitudes towards children, particularly in DR Congo, so that people see children as God sees them, and to prevent further abuse against children.’
Feba’s partner in Kinshasa is working with street-living children to deliver a radio project which includes engaging churches and church leaders on the subject of child witch accusations. You can find out more about this project here.  
A discussion group at the Round Table Action Forum in Togo

Progress in Togo

November’s Round Table Action Forum on child witch accusations in Togo had a dramatic effect, leaving delegates determined to protect vulnerable children in their communities. Since November, there has been steady progress. The church leaders who attended the forum are meeting together again in April to discuss the way forward, and there are plans in place to pilot the SCWA training tool, probably in early June. The resource is being seen as very relevant in the Togolese context, so we expect positive results from the pilot.

Please pray:

  • Keep praying for the 59 church leaders who attended the Forum; that God will continue to inspire them and spur them on to transform attitudes towards children.

Training tool

In the Autumn update, we mentioned the urgent need for a training tool to help church leaders respond to witchcraft accusations against children. SCWA and CAAES are responding to this need by producing a training resource, to walk participants through their thinking on child witch accusations and their understanding of the place of children in God’s heart and plans. Our modular training tool provides biblically-underpinned teaching which addresses root causes of accusations, including fear, scapegoating and misunderstandings about normal child development. It has the potential to enable church leaders to transform the attitudes and practices relating to child witch accusations within their communities.
The resource is now complete and ready to be formatted for piloting. Plans are underway for pilots in the summer, in Lubumbashi, DRC and also in Togo (see above). The resource is the first of its kind and will meet a very real training need for church leaders.

Please pray:

  • Pray that the pilots of the resource will result in valuable insights into any amendments needed and its effectiveness in changing attitudes and harmful beliefs towards children.

The Stop Child Witch Accusations Coalition
Office 211, 22 Eden Street
Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey 
United Kingdom, KT1 1DN
020 8977 7571