Child Sacrifice On Rise in Uganda

This isn’t a new story. It’s a story about a religious practice that not only isn’t going away but is actually increasing.

It’s about the sacrifice of children in Uganda, to the spirits or gods, in order to bring about wealth, health and “good luck” to the sacrificers. Although it may be motivated by greed (among clients and practitioners alike), it’s a religious practice, a sacrificial ritual, often practiced at shrines, that some believe will invoke the pleasure of the supernatural divine.

“The child sacrifices were carried out by witchdoctors or by their clients who have been advised or ordered to do so by witchdoctors, traditional healers, astrologists, traditional medicine men or cult leaders. … Such sacrifices are purportedly to appease and invoke gods or spirits or ancestors to use their supernatural abilities to carry out the wishes of the witchdoctor or his or her clients. Such wishes could be the need for healing, protection against enemies or calamities or for riches, prosperity and success.”

Reports since at least 1999 have come from Uganda about children being sacrificed but the practice seems to be increasing, with purportedly more than 900 children killed in the last 3 yrs. Although Christianity and Islam are said to have turned many away from the practice of witchcraft and child sacrifice, recently — and some say it correlates to increased prosperity in Uganda —

“people are openly coming out in the media, both newspapers and radio to associate with witchcraft under the guise of traditional medical practice and associated rituals. Consulting of traditional healers, diviners, witchdoctors, astrologers is touted as fashionable and nothing to be ashamed of. This mentality has encouraged more people to openly consult witchdoctors some of whom are encouraging them to sacrifice children as part of the ritual to make the magic work or appease the gods or spirits. … Many witchdoctors also believe that children are pure, undefiled and therefore a preferred sacrifice for the spirits and gods.”

Police are trying to change public perception, “visiting churches and mosques,” but ‘it’s a challenge to convince people that the act of human sacrifice is not spiritual but a crime.'”

* * * * * * * * * * * *


Where Child Sacrifice is a Business (11 Oct 2011, BBC)

Witch-doctors reveal extent of child sacrifice in Uganda (7 Jan 2010, BBC)

Child Sacrifice is On the Rise in Uganda (14 Aug 2006, The Monitor)

Child Sacrifice Emerges as Disturbing Uganda Trend (25 Feb. 2010, ABC)


2 thoughts on “Child Sacrifice On Rise in Uganda

  1. As plausible as this prastice as revealed by the teachings of Girard, I am sickened knowing this is going on still.

  2. Yes. But these sacrifices — while I think entirely religious in nature — seem to have a somewhat different purpose than sacrifice as Girard talks about it; I don’t think I see how they are being used to unify the community and bring about a temporary peace in the midst of crisis…. On the other hand, these children are scapegoats, marginalised by their age and “purity,” seen as expendable and also as potential saviours …

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