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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Meanwhile Elsewhere - When It Isn't Safe to Be White

Here is another post in the "Elsewhere" series - for your information and to help you appreciate what our fellow believers, as well as the non-believers, in other parts of the world live with in their daily lives.

1 Timothy 6:9-10  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Today is International Albinism Day. In keeping with this, here is a link to an article that tells about the very frightening existence that people with albinism live in some African countries - especially Tanzania.

The reason they are is so much danger is because the witch doctors have claimed that body parts, and indeed the whole bodies, of these people have potent magical powers and they will pay fabulous sums of money (by African standards) for those body parts. Many of them have been attacked or threatened due to this, and for the safety of the children, many have been removed to "safe places" to try to protect them from this.

Here is an article at the National Geogrpahic site gives a detailed account of this, along with discussing a little of the experiences of others in places less violent, and one place where there is no violence because the genetic difference is so common.

As usual, disclaimer on some content.

For Them, Being Pale Can Bring Scorn, Threats, and Worse [Note: If you load this page more than once it may ask you to subscribe. One or two loadings should allow you to read it.]

This photo of a Tanzanian witch doctor who has been handling the carcass of a goat, was taken by my grandfather around 1950.

My own parents and grandparents saw albino Africans when they were living in East Africa. At the time and place where they were there was apparently not as much stigma on these people, which may have been due to the presence of more missionaries who would have explained the causes.

Acts 26:16-18  But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

The preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ and salvation through faith in Him brings freedom from this kind of superstition and devilish activity. This in turn changes the lives of the others as well and ultimately will change a culture if there is enough "salt" present in the lives of believers and the church. Indeed, some cultures have been drastically changed through the power of the gospel. May God grant this for Tanzania. The lust for money and the power of Satan is strong in East Africa, and indeed in all of Africa quite likely, and it is exceedingly destructive.  These evils, and many others, are the result of greed and spiritual darkness.

In the Western world we too often don't appreciate the terrible darkness and power that this kind of superstition has over a people or nation. While there is certainly devilish activity around us in many ways, the darkness of these things is something that penetrates people's minds and the whole culture. If you wish to learn more about this in a historical sense (that still reflects today in many ways), I recommend getting the Jungle Doctor books by Paul White. They are very informative missionary stories, and they give a lot of insight into this without being gruesome or excessive (they were written for children or families).

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