For about 6 months now, the Center for Inquiry has been battling against a practice that seems rather archaic here in North America: witch burning. Led by Norm Allen, the executive director of African Americans for Humanism for CFI, there has been a growth in skepticism, particularly amongst the youth communities.
News comes today, however, of a law suit against CFI’s Nigerian representative, Leo Igwe. In particular:
The suit, scheduled for a hearing on Dec.17, is seeking an injunction preventing Igwe and other humanist groups from holding seminars or workshops aimed at raising consciousness about the dangers associated with the religious belief in witchcraft. The suit aims to erect a legal barrier against rationalist or humanist groups who might criticize, denounce or otherwise interfere with their practice of Christianity and their “deliverance” of people supposedly suffering from possession of an “evil or witchcraft spirit.” The suit also seeks to prevent law enforcement from arresting or detaining any member of the Liberty Gospel Church for performing or engaging in what they say are constitutionally protected religious activities. These activities include the burning of three children, ages 3 through 6, with fire and hot water, as reported by James Ibor of the Basic Rights Counsel in Nigeria on August 24, 2009. The parents believed their children were witches.
Hopefully the law suit will be laughed out of court. Religious superstition should not be permitted to override a human’s right to live, and kudos goes to CFI for their continued battle in often hostile environments to spread science and reason to those who need it most.