Pope Benedict XVI has been pictured giving a blessing to Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, who has promised to pass the country’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a “Christmas gift”.
Yesterday, Kadaga was at the Vatican to meet the Pope and to attend a human rights conference.
The topic was “Human Rights: how to remove them”.
The villages and farming communities that surround Uganda’s capital, Kampala, are gripped by fear.
Schoolchildren are closely watched by teachers and parents as they make their way home from school. In playgrounds and on the roadside are posters warning of the danger of abduction by witch doctors for the purpose of child sacrifice.
The ritual, which some believe brings wealth and good health, was almost unheard of in the country until about three years ago, but it has re-emerged, seemingly alongside a boom in the country’s economy.
The mutilated bodies of children have been discovered at roadsides, the victims of an apparently growing belief in the power of human sacrifice…
“They have a belief that when you sacrifice a child you get wealth, and there are people who are willing to buy these children for a price. So they have become a commodity of exchange, child sacrifice has become a commercial business.”
The pastor and his parishioners are lobbying the government to regulate witch doctors and improve police resources to investigate these crimes…
According to official police figures, there was one case of child sacrifice in 2006; in 2008 the police say they investigated 25 alleged ritual murders, and in 2009, another 29.
Of course, they could always show it doesn’t work. Or would that be too much like science and rationality?
A Ugandan gay rights campaigner who last year sued a local newspaper which outed him as homosexual has been beaten to death, activists say.
Police have confirmed the death of David Kato and say they have arrested one suspect.