AFRICA/IVORY COAST - Belief in witchcraft in Africa: Symposium deals with the widespread phenomenon

Thursday, 22 April 2021 evangelization   local churches   witchcraft  

Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) - "Witchcraft is a widespread reality in Africa and it undermines our coexistence. We, as the Institute for Theological Education, are interested in considering the realities around us and reflecting on them on the basis of faith," said Brother Paul Koukovi Zipki, Director for Research and Journalism, of the Catholic Mission Institute of Abidjan (ICMA), at the symposium on "Witchcraft in Africa, Ways to Liberation", which took place on April 16-17.
Philosophers, theologians and psychologists took part in the ICMA symposium and discussed the phenomenon under three aspects: the sociological and analytical dimension, the theological dimension and finally the pastoral and social dimension. They tried to explain the problem of witchcraft and to look for ways and means to bring about an individual and collective mentality change.
Wilfried Kpoda, clinical psychologist and psychopathologist, emphasized above all "to fight against the fear of magicians, which causes psychosis in people's minds".
"It is therefore necessary - he said - to develop awareness-raising, information and education initiatives with the population on the mechanisms and strategies of witchcraft so that they no longer fear the magician but have the necessary weapons to fight this practice".
At the end of this 8th ICMA Colloquium, Father Paul Zikpi, President of the Scientific Committee, presented recommendations and considerations. Among other things, it is about "dealing well and objectively with the problem of witchcraft and integrating pastoral concerns with regard to witchcraft and its liberation into the ordinary pastoral care of the dioceses and our country". (S.S.) (Agenzia Fides, 22/4/2021)