As if there weren’t enough to be depressed about, the British newspaper The Guardian reports about the scapegoating of children in Nigeria:
Evangelical pastors are helping to create a terrible new campaign of violence against young Nigerians. Children and babies branded as evil are being abused, abandoned and even murdered while the preachers make money out of the fear of their parents and their communities.
Do read the article; yes, it’s depressing, but it’s an invaluable firsthand account for anyone who wants to understand Africa, its churches and worldwide fundamentalism. Here is the Pentecostal church at work—taught Biblical literalism by American and Scottish missionaries, the article claims—not the Anglican Church of Nigeria, which prefers to scapegoat Gay, Lesbian and Trans people instead. Archbishop Peter Akinola doesn’t advocate gouging Gay eyes out or throwing acid in their faces (although Davis Mac-Iyalla’s been threatened with the latter), he wants to jail Gay people for 14 years instead.
With all that is screwed up about Nigeria, you’d think Akinola would speak out against the abuse of children. But you’d be wrong. Since Anglicanism has to compete with Pentecostalism (and by many reports, is losing that competition), you’d think he’d compare and contrast these two versions of “Christianity.” But again you’d be wrong.
Beware the next time you hear some right-wing American Christian tell you to support missionary work. Chances are, the missionaries are just teaching Pentecostal-style hucksterism: how to get rich by stealing and committing violence in the name of God.
Lord, have mercy. Defenseless children!++