One self-declared Deliverance Ministry offers services in person or over Skype that claim to “cleanse demons and evil spirits” – for a price.
Its website blames the supernatural for everything from depression to sexual abuse, marriage breakdown, financial issues and health problems, proscribing “exorcism with inner healing”.
Research shows children are singled out for the accusations because of “difference”, which can include being a twin, albino, having mental health problems, epilepsy, bed-wetting, sleep walking, being rebellious or gifted.
“A child normalises that abusive behaviour and blames themselves, because they’re very young, they’re vulnerable, they will think of themselves as witches,” Insp Davis said.
“Evidence suggests that areas of Africa are affected by it but this is not a black African problem.
This is far broader, these beliefs are widespread across many parts of the world and were widespread in this country not so long ago.” A cursory internet search demonstrates the demand for “exorcisms” and other religious services in Britain.
FOOTBALL FANS in the central African state of Congo were hurling accusations of witchcraft at each other yesterday after a freak blast of lightning struck dead an entire team on the playing field while their opponents were left completely untouched.