Some teenage girls at Bomase, a village in the Upper Manya Krobo district of the Eastern Region have been forced to drop out of school after they were branded witches by a self-styled pastor.
The yet-to-be-identified pastor has blamed the death of some of the residents in the community on the minors.
The pastor who is believed to be in his twenties sends these girls – mostly between the ages of 12 and 14 – to a hill top to pray and deliver them from their witchcraft, physically abusing them in the process.
During this process he lashes them, leaving marks on their bodies.
Joy News’ Beatrice Adu was in the community and reports that parents of these girls believe in the self-styled pastor, and send their daughters to the hill top for the ‘evil spirit’ they have to be exorcized.
A worried member of the community Mary Agbetor told Beatrice the development is a clear abuse of the girls’ rights.
“I am worried, I was informed that a young pastor in the village was accusing the girls of being witches, killing people and the hitherto peaceful community has been divided into factions of witches and wizards.
“This is affecting the girls in school. How can a pastor accuse girls of being witches and bring them into a bush to exorcise them”, she queried.
Mary says the girls are often forced to confess that they are witches.
One of the girls, Dede was badly beaten by the pastor last week when she refused to say she was a witch.
Marks left at Dede’s back after she was lashed by the pastor when she refused to confess that she was a witch
Dede said she refused to say she was a witch because she is not and although she told her parent about it, they did nothing.
One of the residents, Emmanuel Nartey Agbotey, supports the activities of the pastor.
He told Beatrice one of the girls killed his wife just after she gave birth to their child.
The pastor, upon seeing the TV crew run into the bush. Some women who were at the church when Beatrice and her crew visited the community also refused to speak about the issue.