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In Angola, Church struggles to combat witchcraft

Catholic World News - September 24, 2010

Popular belief in witchcraft is “a very serious problem” in Angola, reports Bishop Antonio Jaca of Caxito in an interview with the Fides news service. Bishop Jaca attributes the influence of belief in witchcraft to ignorance, illiteracy, and a failure or evangelization. He reasons that “someone who believes in witchcraft is a person who has not been sufficiently evangelized, whose faith is not strong enough to make Christ the only answer in his life.” The African bishop says:

We have begun to re-evangelize the country. It is not an easy task because we have seen that although the churches are full on Sundays, the population is not sufficiently Christianized. The faith is not strong enough to combat threats such as the sects and the old beliefs like witchcraft.

The influence of witchcraft, Bishop Jaca argues, is aggravated by “poverty, misery, the difficulties of life” in a country that remains desperately needy, 8 years after the end of a long and costly civil war.

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