Police Detain 'Exorcist' Priests

Angola Press Agency (Luanda)/November 17, 2004

Cabinda -- The Criminal Investigation Police, on Monday, in the northern Cabinda Province, detained two priests of the Painial-Mefa Evangelic Church, who placed three children under seclusion to "exorcise them", forcing them to fast, and accusing them of practicing witchcraft.

Speaking to the Press, the head of the section for Searches and Detention of the Provincial Criminal Investigation Department, Inspector Oliveira da Costa, revealed that the two pastors in question are Ekongo Lianga and Geremias Kuama da Costa, both from the neighbouring DR Congo.

The provincial public attorney of Cabinda, André Gomes Manuel, said that the action of the two individuals fits into the crime of private incarceration of minors, which is punished according to the country's Penal Code.

The three children, two six year old boys and a four year old girl, were on Sunday withdrawn from that religious congregation and handed to their parents.

In recent times there has been a rise of crimes against children in Angola, with the justification of fighting witchcraft, alledgely being practiced by or possed in the children that are victims of private justice.

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