Human sacrifice and its connection to democracy

Child abduction in west Africa is a huge problem. Elections processes here can actually increase this problem. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? What does one have to do with the other?

Human sacrifice is still practiced in several parts of the world. Political hopefuls often use traditional myths of human sacrifice to improve their electoral chances. Organs of children are particularly in demand at this time, as children are sliced open for their hearts, kidneys, lungs, genitals and other body parts. Police in Cote D’Ivoire say that child sacrifice always steadily increases around elections, as political hopeful’s demand for body parts and potions increases.

In Cote D’Ivoire (commonly known here as the Ivory Coast), as many as 90 cases of child abduction are reported per month. Most are never found again. The government does very little to stop this problem, as they themselves are often part of the problem.

Human sacrifice is not unique to west Africa. In eastern parts of Africa, humans with albinism (a rare disorder that affects pigmentation) are hunted down to be sacrificed for magic and potions used by shamans or “witch doctors”. Their body parts are sold and fetch a hefty price in certain markets. Investigators say body parts from a single murdered albino can sell for well over $1,000. The skin and flesh are dried out and set into amulets and the bones are ground into powders. Miners in the gold and diamond fields often use these powders to help ensure riches as it is supposed to have wealth-giving properties.

This problem has become so severe as of late, that officials have given hundreds of albinos free cellphones and a number to call if they feel they are being hunted. It hasn’t stopped or significantly slowed the practice.

This practice has existed and continues to exist to this day in many other parts of the world, with cases of human sacrifice in the UK and other parts of Europe. It is also happening in parts of the Middle East, Asia, South America and even in North America.

While shamans or “witch doctors” often use herbal remedies and hands on treatments that are tried and tested for generations, the practice of human sacrifice is one that must change. Not all shamans use these practices, but some do.

Shamanism is an incredibly important practice that should be studied for its medicinal and social contributions and should absolutely continue. It can often have profound effects on patients because it uses techniques that address pychological issues as well as herbal medicines that are often quite effective and not heavily processed or laden with toxic chemicals.

Often those shamans accused of murder for human sacrifice use their magic and mystique to avoid persecution. This must change.

Those intent on rushing democracy into certain areas of the world should be aware of what effect this might have on the population. This should especially be considered when the election process called is neither fair or free to begin with. In this case,  democracy only brings suffering.

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