News Stories

When Religion Kills Children

When we think of killing in the name of religion, we think of 911, but there is more than one way to do it. Two children in two different states in the U.S. have been killed by exorcists recently. In Atlanta, a six-year-old girl was found strangled and stabbed, with a broken back. In Milwaukee, an eight-year-old boy was smothered by being wrapped in sheets during an exorcism ceremony designed to "cure" him of autism. And in Peru, a child was recently sacrificed for a good harvest in an ancient ceremony.

Cameron Simpson writes in The Scottish Herald that the couple who killed their daughter "were involved possibly in a ritual of some sort. It may have had something to do with undemonizing the child in some manner." Pages torn from a Bible were found in the motel room where they were staying. Their seven-year-old child led police to the room, where they found the dead body.

CBS News reports that the autistic boy died while wrapped in sheets during a prayer service conducted in a church located in a strip mall. After an hour of prayer, one person noticed the boy was no longer moving and called the police. His father, Ray Hemphill says, "We were asking God to take this spirit that was tormenting this little boy to death. We were praying that hard, but not to kill."

The boy?s grandmother says, "They held the boy down, they held him down until?he went to a smothery grave."

Ritual child killing is still being done in Peru, just as in the time of the ancient Incas. Scott Corales reports that peasants in a village in Peru sacrificed a year-old child whose heart was torn out and offered to the gods in exchange for a good harvest. "He was sacrificed, no doubt of it," says Sergeant Juan Felipe Quispe, who found the child's remains at the site of the ceremony. He says, "On many occasions I heard stories about deaths and unmarked graves for those who were murdered to honor the soil, the sun and the moon, but never thought they were true until now."

The police report says, "They beheaded him and then opened his chest." The heart, which had been removed by hand, was found several hundred feet away from the body, covered in flower petals. Like all sacrificial victims, the child's body showed no defects.

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