A teenage boy and his mother, both looking away from the cameraTens 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 associated abuse, and to bring the phenomenon to an end. SCWA is currently active in training and equipping church leaders in nations including DR Congo, Nigeria and the UK, and is exploring opportunities for collaboration in Kenya.

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 helping to influence the recent UN resolution on harmful practices relating to witchcraft accusations. Burgeoning working relationships with other child-focused agencies in the UK also promise to bring systemic change, by equipping professionals to recognise and address signs of 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. The resource is now available in English, French and Swahili, through the SCWA website.

To complement The Heart of the Matter, SCWA has created resources to help church leaders address health issues underlying accusations of witchcraft. 'Sickness, Health and Healing' unpacks the biblical view of sickness and healing, and 'Mental Health Matters' focuses on misunderstandings around mental health issues.

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