England: A Londonpastor has been arrested and is being questioned about allegations that he incited child cruelty. Dr Dieudonne Tukala of the Church of Christ Mission in Tottenham is alleged to have accused several children of witchcraft and recommended violent solutions to their parents.
Dr Dieudonne Tukala, 46, from the Church of Christ Mission, is being questioned over claims that he diagnosed several children aswitches, advising their parents to beat the devil out of them or send them back to the Democratic Republic of Congo so that he could pray for them to be killed.
Such superstitious beliefs are common within some African Christian churches, and the Daily Telegraph, based on BBC reports, gives several cases which have resulted in convictions or suicide. Not even a fœtus is safe:
The same report also interviewed the former wife of a Congolese man, Nzuzi Mayingi, 26, found hanged in Crystal Palace Park, having committed suicide 18 months after he arrived in Britain as an asylum seeker.
She alleged to the BBC that when she was pregnant with the couple's second son, Dr Tukala had accused her, their son, and their unborn son of all being possessed, known askendoki. Her husband, who had deeply-held beliefs in witchcraft, beat her then threw her out of their home, she said.
If someone is thought to be kendoki in our country in the Congo, they can kill you. You would die with your children,said the woman, who is now living in the north of England, having reportedly received threats.
A police respresentative was keen to point out that
There was no suggestion, ... that the issues related solely to Congolese, or that the issues related generally to the Congolese community. Indeed. The newspaper does not mention a case, also in London, from last year when three people were convicted of cruelty to an Angolan girl. In that case, she
was cut with a knife, beaten with a belt and shoe and had chilli peppers rubbed in her eyes to beat the devil out of her
Pastor is arrested after inquiry into claims of cruelty to 'child witches'—Daily Telegraph, 13th January 2006. See also Three convicted of 'witch' girl abuse—Pagan Prattle, 3rd June 2005.