Atheist Ugandan works his magic on British humanists
By MATTHEW CRESSWELL - GUARDIAN.CO.UK
Added: Sat, 15 Oct 2011 15:13:13 UTC
'Uganda lives under the shadow of the proposed anti-gay bill, which suggests the death penalty in some cases.' Photograph: Dai Kurokawa/EPA
An atheist talkshow host and 12 "like-minded people" are attempting to tackle superstition, mysticism and witchcraft in Uganda. James "Fat Boy" Onen is an on-air presenter for Sanyu FM and a co-founder of Freethought Kampala. Through Facebook campaigns, newspaper articles and regular monthly meetings, Onen believes Freethought Kampala is providing the only rational platform for tackling superstition in Uganda.
This month, Onen has been speaking at events around the UK after being invited by the British Humanist Association (BHA). Addressing small gatherings, he said everyday Ugandans were over-reliant on a "mixed bag" of belief in black magic and Pentecostal Christianity.
"On my talkshow, I offer two million Ugandan shillings to anyone that would prove to me that witchcraft works," he told an audience at the Camden Head pub in London this week. "After three months, one person came forward and took me to a witch doctor, of course he could not do anything." He continued: "But that was not sufficient to change people's minds because they are of the view that evil spirits exist. This is because their pastors are telling them every day that Uganda is cursed and that Uganda suffers from a 'generational curse'."
- - Top Documentary Films Comments
Documentary about ongoing events in Uganda, where many question whether the growing influence of American religious groups has led to a movement to make homosexuality a crime punishable by death.
Peter Singer - The Scotsman Comments
Analysis: Why it’s irrational to risk women’s lives for the sake of the unborn
- - BBC News Comments
The government has launched an action plan to tackle child abuse linked to witchcraft or religion in England.
John Bingham - The Telegraph Comments
Terminally ill children are subjected to needless suffering amounting to “torture” by parents who refuse to allow the withdrawal of treatment because of their religious beliefs, leading doctors have claimed.
Staff - CTV News Comments
A British website claiming to offer parents advice on vaccines has been ordered to remove wording that suggests the MMR vaccine is linked to some cases of autism.
Allie Torgan - CNN Comments
There were at least 185 documented attacks on schools and hospitals in Afghanistan last year, according to the United Nations. The majority were attributed to armed groups opposed to girls' education.