The Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AFAW) has commended the Ugandan Government for closing down an evangelical church in Kampala, where a pastor was said to have “treated” people with mental illnesses through prayer.
BBC had reported that the pastor was arrested by the police while nine sick people held at the church were rescued from shackles linked to a metal poles as part of the treatment process.
Reacting in a statement signed by its coordinator, Leo Igwe, AFAW noted that there have been reports of similar ‘healing’ practices in Nigeria, Ghana and Zambia.
The Alleged witches Advocacy group claimed that many African pastors, in the quest to grow their churches and finances, venture into faith healing.
Leo Igwe also called on government authorities to arrest religion leaders in the countries who claim to have deliverance powers.
“Evangelical churches, as well as Islamic centers across Africa, operate faith clinics, prayer camps where they claim to provide healing services for persons with all diseases, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, and even COVID-19,” Leo Igwe said.
He noted that the situation had worsened due to the lack of affordable health in most African countries, adding that instead of getting their desired healing, the victims end up suffering abuses and further health damage.
AFAW said in Africa, people tend to rush to churches, mosques and other spiritual houses whenever they fall ill simply because they “cannot afford the costs of evidence-based medicine or treatment, even if there are hospitals to go to.”
Igwe, who noted that mental health infrastructure was inadequate while hospitals are few in the region, urged African leaders to “explore ways of improving evidence-based mental health care in the region. Governments should make medical services available and affordable to the local population.”
The witches’ group also called on the police to arrest pastors and imams claiming to have the powers to heal people and close down their churches and mosques too.
The group wants pastors, imams, or anyone who claims to have the power to heal mental illness prosecuted by governments “because these medical impostors are harming, not healing people.”
“By their training, traditional, Christian, and Islamic clerics are religious, not medical experts. They have no business with mental health work. Churches, mosques, and shrines are worship centers, not hospitals,” AFAW noted.
KanyiDaily had also reported how the Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AFAW) attacked Apostle Johnson Suleman of the Omega Fire Ministry, for demanding that government allow pastors into isolation centers to pray for coronavirus patients.