Church says obeah signs of “desperate times”

Bahamas Christian Council President, Bishop Delton Fernander.

The Bahamas Christian Council President Delton Fernander spoke out Monday against reports of alleged witchcraft taking place in the county after a number of videos went viral supposedly depicting acts of witchcraft and Obeah recently.

Fernander acknowledged that as a Christian community, the country is steeped in various religious beliefs but, he said, he has witnessed an increase in persons engaging in non-traditional practices of the “spiritual realm”.

While he could not speak on behalf of the council, as it did not deliberate the issue, Fernander said, in his opinion, the increase is a result of desperation.

“There are those engaging in this practice who are being paid handsomely to harm others,” Fernander said.

“It really speaks to the desperation and need for us as a people to know that we don’t have to cause harm on others for us to succeed.”

With the advent of technology, the Christian Council president said, more people are becoming exposed and it is having a greater impact on society.

He said, “I believe that more and more people are buying into it. Unfortunately, its reared itself again and as a church we have a duty to cover our land in prayer.”

The Church, he charged, most do more to reach the community.

“We are in desperate times and so it is for the church to do better with teaching, stronger teaching and be more engaging with the wider community, so we can reap the positive and not be so susceptible to what is going on with this so-called witchcraft.”

The Bahamas reportedly has one of the highest number of churches per capita in the world.

Baptists comprise the largest Christian denomination, followed by Anglicans, Catholics, Methodists and Seventh-Day Adventists.

Although there are no laws against Obeah and witchcraft, the Penal Code describes Obeah as a “pretended assumption of supernatural power or knowledge for fraudulent or illicit purposes, or for gain, or for the injury of any person”.