Woo refers to…

“…ideas considered irrational or based on extremely flimsy evidence or that appeal to mysterious occult forces or powers.”

Source: The Skeptic’s Dictionary

Many people in Uganda believe that witchcraft works. For what they may describe as ‘moral’ or ‘religious’ reasons, many frown upon it, and might actively discourage others from practicing it (many Christians and Muslims believe that witchcraft is the handiwork of Satan, after all); BUT, there is no doubt in their minds that it is efficacious, that is, they firmly believe that witchcraft can be used to influence events in reality.

witch-doctor

What is commonly referred to as witchcraft (as practiced in most parts of sub-Saharan Africa) is a dangerous superstition. There is no credible evidence that demonstrates that it is efficacious in any way, but because people believe in it, they will shun modern medicine, and consign the problems of the world to an imaginary spiritual realm. The result is that people end up dying of treatable diseases, and forgo rational approaches to solving their problems, in favour of superstition – both courtesy of witchcraft. In extreme cases, the lives of innocent young children and albinos are put at risk.

The solution to this problem is sensitisation, and education.

This new series will examine, on a case by case basis, claims about witchcraft in Uganda that come to, or are brought to, our attention – for the purpose of establishing the veracity of such claims. Of course, we will not be able to look into each and every claim, but… we’ll try and look into as many cases as time, resources and logistics allow.

There are many other dimensions to woo, such as quack medicine and alleged faith healing. These too will be featured in this series, as and when we are able to look into such cases that arise – however, witchcraft will be the primary focus.

This series page will be updated as an when new posts pertaining to the subject matter are generated.


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