Gruesome? Indeed. Imagine being forced into a ceremony with such a figure. Imagine being a child and being forced into a ceremony with a such a figure. Voodoo — a religion with various sects, cultures and sub-cultures — is a potent form of spirituality mixing ancient African mysticism with Native American shamanism and Catholicism. In the blending of the three major spiritualities, not to mention the add-ons throughout the centuries since it first began to emerge, and you have a mortifying soup of fear, faith, and ritual.
To maintain hold of trafficked children, traffickers in Amsterdam used voodoo to keep their young charges in line. In fact, the children were forced to take voodoo vows which effectively silenced them from speaking out. As an eight year old watching chickens being slaughtered by gyrating figures (as seen above), overwrought with loud, thrumming music, mystical chants… curses… I can only imagine the desperation to obey any and all orders.
To begin with, this would cow any child in absolute terror. I can't imagine what their dream lives are like when they sleep. Whether you believe in demonic possession or not, the human stageplay of religion here would be enough to control any person. The fact that children were forced to partake in such ceremonies is unthinkable.
I, for one, do happen to believe in the presence of demonic activity. Jesus dealt with them consistently during His time on earth and they continue to cause havoc in our world today. Do I fear them? No. Christ has overcome them just as He as all things. "All power and authority has been given to me… " (Matthew 28). Does anyone recall that passage of Scripture where even the demons believe in the authority of Yeshua the Christ AND SHUDDER? Yes, they do. They know who He is and they know their fate under His authority.
Which brings me to my point. Psychological terror is an integral part of trafficking. The many verbal and emotional devices used by traffickers cause deep wounds in a person's psyche and these wounds can take decades to heal. It's obvious this has happened in this instance. The amount of brainwashing that would have occured and the amount of re-programming that will need to take place is astounding. Whether the shamans were actual practicing voodoo shamans is a question I have not found a valid answer to yet.
But in my mind, that's a moot point. Psycological ploy or true spiritual intent, the demonic element was present here. These children need the immediate attention and healing of Christ. He is the only Way, Truth, and Life (John 14:6) that will rid them of their demons — living, sentient beings apart from humans capabale of possessing and oppressing humans.
The spiritual health of any trafficking survivor must always be at the forefront of aftercare. It cannot be pushed to the back burner thinking that spirituality is a secondary need to be addressed at a later date. It is, in fact, the greatest need any one of us has in life.
Am I calling for Hollywood's definition of a Catholic exorcism? Hell, no! (intended)
True love casts out all fear… and if Christ is Love, then these demons holding these children in spiritual bondage do not stand a chance. But it will take us, as believers who have been transformed by this Love, to pray and fast and stand where these children cannot. James 1 was clear about true religion: "to look after widows and orphans in their distress". These children are NOT shaman priests and priestesses as the voodoo traffickers would have them believe. They are in distress, beloved of God… and mean to be free.
Voodoo Child Smugglers Busted in Netherlands
Young prostitutes took mystic vows
(Newser) – Dutch police have broken a child prostitution ring that used voodoo to control its young charges, authorities announced today. Authorities found missing Nigerian children prostituting themselves in France, Italy, and Spain, apparently obeying mystic vows given them by their kidnappers and voodoo shamans. Police have so far arrested dozens accused of smuggling the children into Western countries by abusing the asylum system.
Children were flown to Amsterdam and instructed to seek asylum, landing them in open shelters where it was easy for “madames” to regain control of them and force them to repay vague debts. About 140 asylum-seeking children have disappeared from Dutch facilities since last January. Police arrested suspects in the Netherlands, US, Britain, and Germany, the BBC reports.