Kenyan bishop said that Devil worship is a reality in Kenya; he also added that he hopes Pope Francis’ declaration of the Year of Mercy would help Catholics remain strong.
Bishop Emanuel Barbara of Malindi said, “Young people are being lured into the issue through promised educational scholarships," along Kenya’s Indian coast.“And they include the Christians and non-Christians," he added.
At a recent theological symposium on the occult and Satanism, Bishop Barbara said devil worship was growing quickly in this East African country and that it had global implications.
Later, some appealed to Kenya’s bishops to move from “talking about the issue to acting on it" during the question-and-answer session.
“Education on how to battle out this issue is lacking among us, the Catholic faithful," said one participant. Another asked the bishop for literature on the issue.
In an interview with CNS, one participant who wished to remain anonymous was quick to mention those behind the recruitment of people into devil worship as effectively exploiting the areas of unemployment, illiteracy and influential minds of the young people.
“No wonder the issue is more pronounced in schools and colleges, for example," he explained.
Fr Clement Majawa, currently lecturing at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, said the church and government had to inform the public on the reality of devil worship.
He proposed introducing courses on secret religious societies and traditional African religions. Also, he proposed that Catholics work with Kenya’s Ministry of Education to develop curriculums and to have a team of chaplains and counselors on hand for challenging situations.
In 1999, a presidential investigation on devil worship in the country, chaired by the late Archbishop Nicodemus Kirima of Nyeri, revealed that devil worship could be found in schools, churches and even government offices.
Archbishop Kirima, who chaired the commission of senior religious leaders, told the BBC the investigation was launched to find out whether devil worship was linked to ritualised killings or other unlawful activities.
The report was presented to the government in 1995, but has still not been released publicly and was only recently made available to religious leaders.