05 January 2012

Horrific violence in the name of superstition

A couple of gruesome stories graced my Twitter feed this evening. It seems that violent religious extremists are starting off the year strong.

In Nigeria, Islamists are mercilessly gunning down Christians for praying to the wrong imaginary god:
"It was around 7:30 pm (1830 GMT)," Pastor John Jauro told AFP news agency of Thursday's attack in the city of Gombe.

"I was leading the congregation in prayers. Our eyes were closed when some gunmen stormed the church and opened fire on the congregation. Six people were killed in the attack and 10 others were wounded."

He said there was confusion as worshippers sought to flee at the Deeper Life Christian Ministry Church.

Local police spokesman Ahmed Muhammad confirmed the attack, but declined to say how many people the gunmen killed and wounded.

The attack comes after a purported spokesman for Islamist group Boko Haram on Sunday issued a three-day ultimatum for Christians living in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north to leave the region or they would be killed.

There was, however, no claim of responsibility for the attack.
(via Ophelia Benson)

Meanwhile in London, we have the ongoing murder trial of a woman and her partner, both Congolese immigrants, who tortured and drowned her teenage brother last Christmas because they believed he was a witch:
On Christmas Day 2010 the defendants, who both deny murder, allegedly forced the boy and his siblings into a bath, submerging him in water. Pathologist reports revealed he suffered 101 injuries, and died as a result of drowning and the injuries.

When Kristy was found by paramedics in the eighth-floor flat in Forest Gate, his head, face, back and arms were covered in deep cuts and bruises, and several of his teeth were missing.

Kristy and four siblings were sent by their parents, from their home in Paris, to see their sister and his partner on 16 December. A few days passed "pleasantly enough", then Bikubi said some of the children were possessed by spirits and were having an evil influence on a younger child in the house, it is claimed.
(via PZ Myers)

Belief in the supernatural isn't the root of all evil, but it certainly serves as an excuse for some.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License