Witchcraft in Toronto


Élodie Geoffrion

A grandmother accused her grandchildren of witchcraft, in 2021 spring.

The grandmother was living in Toronto with her daughter, now an adult. They were immigrants from Congo, The woman has 3 grandchildren that were living in her home country. Their parents were killed and they didn’t have any other family to take care of them. The teens moved to Canada as permanent residents. Soon after they arrived in the city, their aunt made a dream of the youngest, Mary, 14 years old, stealing a credit card and her permanent resident card. As a weird coincidence, the old woman had a similar dream and in the morning the cards were not there anymore.

In Kinshasa, their original village, it often happens that children are accused of witchcraft, is shunned by the community, and have to live in the street.

The grandmother called a Congolese pastor to find out what to do. He said to lock her in the room and tie her arms and her feet, to take evil spirits out. They were afraid that the abuse would continue, so Mary called a friend to call the police. When the officers arrived they couldn’t talk to them. The kids didn’t understand English and the officers didn’t understand french.

Their grandmother then sent them back to Congo. The old woman kept their resident cards and told them they were forbidden to contact any member of their family. She said there will be a powerful pastor to welcome them. When they arrived, there was nobody. They then understood, that they were alone: no money, no food, no home.

They contacted someone in Kinshasa and asked for help. The guy took the kids to a nearby hotel. He contacted members of the Congolese community who live outside the DRC, they paid for food and accommodation and tried to get the kids back to Canada.

Their lawyer provided copies of kids’ appliances for new resident cards, those were approved on October 29 of this year. They were able to fly back to Toronto in early November, the person they contacted became their legal tutor in the DRC.

They are now being cared for in special foster care for immigrants.

“We never want to see our grandmother again,” They said.

There should be stricter rules for people under 18 to leave Canada alone, and police officers should know at least another language than their maternal language so that things like that will not happen anymore.

The belief in witchcraft in the DRC is driven by fake pastors and prophets. Ignorance, poverty, and war are the reasons why so many people believe in witchcraft. Bedwetting, and bloated stomachs are seen as symptoms of witchcraft for kids.