As hard as it may be to believe, slavery is still going on in the world. Angela Robson reports in the Independent that it is definitely still practiced in rural villages in Africa.

Robson writes, “Trokosi is a traditional practice of slavery still seen as normal in parts of Ghana, Togo and Benin. Girls as young as two are offered to a?priest as a way of appeasing the gods for a relative’s transgression, past or present. The word trokosi comes from the Ewe words ‘tro,’ meaning deity, and ‘kosi’ meaning female slave. The tradition, which has been part of the Ewe culture for centuries, requires a girl to spend the rest of her life as a “wife of the gods.” This religion has the same origins as voo doo, which is still practiced in places like Haiti.

She quotes Mercy Senahe, a young girl who was given to the local priest at age 9, as saying, “Nothing was said to me before I was taken to the shrine. Beads were placed around my knees and ankles and then my family left. I started weeping when I realized that I’d been given to the priest. I cried until some of the women, also trokosis, came to tell me I could not go back, that they’d been there for many years.” When this girl arrived, there were about 60 women and girls in the shrine and more of them gradually arrived. The priest, who was about 50 years old, would beat them if they refused to work. When they matured, he would also have sex with them. Despite the fact that this is against the law in Ghana, it is still going on.

Mercy spent 12 years there before she was finally released. Mercy says, “People call us wives of the gods, but we were never that. We were just children.”

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