focus group in TogoTens of thousands of children worldwide are falsely accused of witchcraft and, as a result, face untold abuse. BCT is working to spark a Christian response to child witch accusations.

BCT is a founder member of Stop Child Witch Accusations (SCWA), a coalition of organisations determined to catalyse a Christian response to child witch accusations and bring the phenomenon to an end. The West is gradually becoming aware of the gravity of this issue and of how many children are affected by it. We are determined to make a difference.

One of SCWA’s key focuses is educating the church about the practice of child witchcraft accusations and prompting congregations to get involved in tackling this issue. SCWA calls on the Church to lead the way in creating environments where children are safe and valued.

SCWA has also been able raise the profile of the issue at the highest level, taking part in a UN workshop on witchcraft-related abuse.

And the coalition is excited to have produced a vital resource on child witch accusations, to help church leaders address the issue in their communities. ‘The Heart of the Matter’ has now been used to train church leaders in several African nations, and it is no exaggeration to say that the participants’ attitudes towards children are being totally transformed. Recent seminars in Masisi, DRC, have prompted a particularly dramatic response. The resource will soon be available for download through the SCWA website.

To complement 'The Heart of the Matter', SCWA is creating creating a resource to help church leaders address health issues underlying accusations of witchcraft. There are clear links between physical and mental health problems and accusations of witchcraft, particularly where there is a lack of access to medical and psychiatric care. So, SCWA is now piloting 'Sickness, Health and Healing' which unpacks the biblical view of sickness and healing, and 'Mental Health Matters' which focuses on misunderstandings around mental health issues.

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