A recent BBC documentary by Kevani Kanda shows that around 50,000 children accused of witchcraft are being held in churches all across Congo. In 'Branded a Witch', Kevani tries to uncover faith-based child abuse in Congo. The documentary shows children assaulted by a Church leader if they are believed to be possessed magical powers.
This documentary focuses on an increase in the number of kids being murdered and abused by relatives in the name of driving witchcraft or demons out of their bodies. Kanda was born in Congo. She looks to explore how children have been singled out for abuse because of ancient traditions. Her investigation also focuses on the deaths of Kristy Bamu and Victoria Climbie. Victoria was just 8-years old in 2000, when she was killed in London as her relatives believed she was possessed.
In his diary, Carl Manning (Her mother's boyfriend) called Victoria 'Satan'. He also stated that no matter how hard he hit Victoria, she never cried. In a similar incident, Kristy, who was just 15 years old, was killed in Newham, East London in 2010. He was murdered by his sister, Magaline Bamu, and her partner, Eric Bikubi. Before being drowned in the bathtub, Kristy was tortured to drive out demons from him.
When Kanda visited churches in Congo, she found numerous children accused of witchcraft as they saw nightmares, wet their beds or were disabled. She also found that many families put their toddlers through severe pain to exorcise them of the devil.
Many rituals include starvation, torture, beatings and isolation. Kanda was shocked when she noticed the pastors going down a line of children and selecting certain kids who they suspected of witchcraft saying that the Holy Spirit reveals to them which kids have been possessed.