Child Sacrifice: How Common, Where Practiced?

AFP reported Sunday that two men from Chhattisgarth, India, murdered 7-year-old Lalita Tati in a ritual sacrifice. The men confessed to using Tati’s liver in a tribal ceremony in hopes of receiving agricultural bounty.

Two child sacrifices were reported in Chhattisgarth in 2010 as well, AFP said.

Child Sacrifice Not Limited to India

India is not the only country battling child sacrifice. Four people were arrested in Nepal last year for killing an 8-year-old girl in hopes of bringing good fortune to their business, Dalje reported. While child sacrifice has been illegal for over two centuries there, some devout Hindus in rural areas practice it.

Child sacrifice is prevalent in Africa, especially Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Burundi, and Liberia.

Developed countries aren’t immune. In 2005, BBC examined reports of Africans bringing young boys into Britain from their own countries for slaughter.

Prevalence of Ritual Child Killings

In Uganda, police reported 29 ritual killings of children in 2009, BBC said. The Interior Ministry recorded 318 such slayings in 2008, Xinhua reported,108 in 2007 and 230 in 2006.

A wave of ritual killings of albinos in Tanzania and Burundi led to an international outcry in 2008, according to the East African. Albinos were targeted because they are believed to bring good luck, the Telegraph said.

Monsignor David Kyeyune, Uganda’s Catholic Secretariat national pastoral coordinator, said child sacrifice is also common in Kenya.

The United Nations Refugee Agency described ritual child killings in Nigeria as widespread in a 2005 report, noting the discovery of 50 mutilated bodies a year earlier by the Okija shrines.

The UN sent extra peacekeepers to Liberia in 2005 as political hopefuls engaged in a spate of ritual killings in hopes of gaining power in upcoming elections.

Faces of Child Sacrifice

The Jubilee Campaign described some Ugandan victims of child sacrifice:

* Sula Nahkenyo disappeared in 2002. Four days later, his mother found his head on his school desk with a note saying he had not proved pure enough for sacrifice.

* George Mukisa was 4 years old when the local witch doctor lured him away from home in 2009, castrated and abandoned him. He survived.

* 3-year-old Evra Mudaali’s grandmother delivered her to a shrine in June 2010 where her heart was removed and her left ear sliced off. The motive was to bring an uncle being indoctrinated into witchcraft occupational success.

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