GANTA, Nimba â€“ The Liberia National Police and authorities of the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection have rescued 29 children who were taken to a church for deliverance after being accused of practicing witchcraft.
The Gender Ministryâ€™s supervisor assigned in Nimba, Victor Zeegban, told The Bush Chicken that the children were taken to the Fire for Fire Deliverance Church in Ganta for spiritual cleansing, on suspicion that they were involved in witchcraft activities.
Zeegban said his office had received a tip from community dwellers about the kids being mistreated at the center and abandoned by relatives who took them there.
â€œAfter receiving the tipoff, we dispatched our social workers to the church to see for themselves and they came back and reported to us that the kids were actually abandoned by their parents and guardians,â€ he said.
â€œThrough our fact-finding visits, we even got to know that some of the kids were taken there at the age of one and have spent over three years in the churchâ€™s yard.â€
He also confirmed that the children were being mistreated and found in appalling conditions, with no access to medication when they fell sick. According to him, one of the children died in May last year.
â€œI saw with my own eyes one of the childrenâ€™s hands [being] tied with [a] rope on grounds that he was possessed [by] a strong spirit from the dark world,â€ Zeegban explained.
He also disclosed that the Gender Ministry was relocating the children to a safe home in Sanniquellie, where they will remain until they are possibly reunited with their families. Zeegban assured that the children would be supported by partners of the ministry.
Meanwhile, the commander of the policeâ€™s Women and Children Protection Section in Ganta, Jenkins Mangou, has praised members of the community for the important role they played in the childrenâ€™s rescue.
Featured photo by Sualeh Ziamo