Since 1994 witchcraft, imbedded in the worldview of the African people, has grown rapidly among Christian youth and young families. Witchcraft and ancestor worship should never be viewed as irrational or animistic, but rather as a serious philosophical approach in dealing with the question of evil in life. It is a way a making sense in the midst of chaos.
Christian churches in Africa have failed to engage with this worldview. Why? Because of Eurocentrism. Christian theologians believed in European superiority as a result of divine favour, resulting in a negative view of Africa which was/is seen as intrinsically chaotic and unredeemable.
African theologians must help their students to engage communities and teach the Bible, e.g. Lev. 19:31, Deut. 18:14, James 4:7 and Col. 2:15. Theological seminaries should look at their curricula and make sure that they prepare their students to be relevant in dealing with pressing issues like witchcraft beliefs and ancestor worship. True preaching of the gospel engages contextual issues.
(Rev Dr Tshililo Liphadzi, principal of Heidelberg Theological Seminary, Pretoria.)
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