God Reports
6/22/17 at 04:00 PM 0 Comments

Amid drought and starvation, Muslim holy men warn villagers away from Christian medical clinics

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Boy in Niger, victim of drought and famine

By Mark Ellis

In drought-stricken Niger, Samira watched two of her children die from starvation. Now her two-year-old son Adamou*, born in a mud hut, was severely malnourished, his skin hanging limply from his bones.

But because of warnings from Muslim holy men in her village known as marabouts, and fearing angry spirits, she didn’t think she should visit the Christian medical clinic in Dantchandou, 22 miles away.

In fact, Adamou had never received any modern medical treatment, according to a report by Christian Aid Mission (CAM).

Samira had taken him to the marabouts, who made ritual incantations, recited verses from the Quran, and made attempts to contact spirits via plants and perfumes.

More than 80 percent of Niger’s people are Muslim, but they often combine Islam with other animistic rituals from their ancestors, according to CAM.

Samira received jolting news from one of the marabouts. “The native healer told me that the spirits are not happy about me, and that I have to pay with my children,” she told CAM.

Samira’s neighbors urged her to take her children to the Christian medical clinic, and initially, she resisted their advice. But as her son continued to deteriorate, she was finally persuaded to make the 22-mile journey.

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