Benin Christian Missionaries' Children Kidnapped And Possibly "Sacrificed"

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Tuesday, May 3, 2005
By BosNewsLife News Center

PORTO-NOVO, BENIN (BosNewsLife)-- Voodoo leaders in a rural area of the African nation of Benin have attacked Christian missionaries and kidnapped their two young children to kill and "sacrifice" them to a voodoo god, sources told BosNewsLife Tuesday, May 3.

Well informed Christian Aid Mission (CAM), which supports the indigenous missionaries in the troubled region, said the children, whose ages were not released, "may be used as human sacrifices to a voodoo god."

Vodoo is one of the main religions in Benin, and CAM said religious leaders were angry that Beninese missionaries Jeremie and his wife Augustine had been serving among the Fon tribe in a remote village for one year. "They had won 25 people, most from voodoo backgrounds, to the Lord and started a small fellowship," CAM headquarters said in a statement to BosNewsLife News Center.

"A voodooist district chief arrested the missionaries several days ago along with several other converts and demanded they leave the village or reject Christ. When the Christians refused to do either, they were beaten, stripped and threatened with castration," US-backed CAM added.


Especially "Jeremie and several others" were " severely beaten" while "the children were kidnapped," the organization claimed. Beninese authorities have not reacted to the latest developments.

CAM said Jeremie's wife managed to escape and "flee through the jungle until she came across a person on the road who took her to another village. Upon hearing her story a brother in Christ rushed 14 miles (about 9 kilometers) to the nearest police station."

But the organization claimed that police arrived too late to rescue the children. "To date neither the children nor their abductors have been located." It said "Jeremie and three other Christians are in critical condition in a local hospital." In a letter to supporters CAM urged believers to "pray for swift recovery for the hospitalized believers and for the safe return of the abducted children." It also requested prayers "that the power of Christ would break through the darkness binding their captors and the country of Benin in voodoo."


Benin, a sliver of land dwarfed by its giant neighbor Nigeria and running from the Gulf of Guinea through marsh and forest into the semi-desert, is best known for being "the ancestral home of voodoo" analysts say. However human rights watchers say throughout Africa, women and children are the main victims of an ancient black magic practice, which has been linked to aspects of voodoo.

Over 60 million people, according to some estimates, practice voodoo worldwide and it is particularly prevalent amongst the ancestors of African slaves. Even in Europe, including the UK, there have been police investigations into human sacrifices.

In Benin, indigenous beliefs comprise of 50 percent of the population, Christians 30 percent and Muslims 30 percent, according to estimates. The country of over 7 million people is facing the prospect of a future without the only two leaders it has ever known.

Neither President Mathieu Kerekou, a former military ruler nicknamed the Chameleon, nor his regular rival Nicephore Soglo can stand in presidential elections next year because of an maximum age restriction of 70 years enshrined in law, news reports said. (With BosNewsLife Research and reports from Benin)