Frequently Asked Questions

What is witchcraft?
There is no universally accepted definition of witchcraft and the term means different things to different people in different places. Primarily witchcraft can be seen as a negative, malevolent force which is used by people – witches – in the spirit realm to bring about harm in the physical realm. It is the art of doing evil.

However, there are some people, primarily in Europe and the United States, who call themselves ‘Witches’. Such people follow a constructed neo-pagan religion, usually called Wicca, which is not witchcraft in the sense that the majority, such as Africans or Papuans, mean it.

What is a witch?
For the majority of people, a witch is an evil person who has the ability to bring about all manner of harm. Characteristics include: psychic cannibalism, being able to fly and being able to take animal form in order to bring about harm. It is often believed that the soul of the suspected witch leaves the physical body during the night and enters into the spirit or “witchcraft” world. Here, along with other witches, they cause all manner of harm such as road accidents, spreading illness, eat human flesh, joblessness, inability to save money, impotence, infertility, mental health problems etc.

What is spirit possession?
This is the belief that a benign (positive) or malignant (negative) force has, whether the person wills it or not, entered their body and is controlling him or her. The individual then becomes taken over by a spirit. Such beliefs are held across all faith groups and can lead to a number of positive or negative outcomes for those who are thought to be possessed by such spirits.

What is juju?
Juju is a West African term for the use of black magic. That is magic that is used for a negative end. Juju is often used by human traffickers in order to coerce victims and ensure that they do as they are told and do not report the trafficker to authorities. Belief in the power of juju is deeply held by the majority of people in this region.

What is muti?

Muti is a word used in South Africa to refer to magic that enables people to gain power or wealth. The most extreme form uses human body parts and people may be killed to provide them

 What is kindoki ?

It is a Lingala term from the Democratic Republic of Congo now used in Europe to mean witchcraft generally.