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African Research Review

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Socio-Missiological Significance of Witchcraft Belief and Practice in Africa

NJ Gbule, JU Odili

Abstract


The fact remains that most Africans, especially Nigerians living in urban centres or outside their immediate villages, dread going to their home towns for fear of being bewitched. This study, “Socio-Missiological Significance of Witchcraft Belief and Practice in Africa” discusses in details the nature, and activities of witches and wizards and reveals, firstly, that the Western explanation of this phenomenon is diametrically opposed to the African one; secondly, witchcraft accusation is a safety valve or mechanism of releasing tension inherent in the social system of social relationship; thirdly, the concept of witchcraft is not unique to African communities; activities of witchcraft are noticeable in the West. The study further examines the characteristics and categories of witchcraft, mode of initiation, modus operandi and measures of protection against the activities of witches and concludes that witches, wherever they exist, are anti-thesis of proper behaviour. Hence, the phenomenal increase in the emergence of healing homes, prayer ministries and Neo-Pentecostal Churches, as we witness in the country today.

Key words: Witchcraft; Neo-Pentecostal; Initiation; Healing Homes; Prayer Ministries




http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/afrrev.v9i3.9
AJOL African Journals Online