A reflection on ritual murders in the biblical text from an African perspective

31 Oct 2019

Ritual murders have recently been widespread among African societies in general. Reports of such murders have become cause for concern. African countries that are implicated in ritual killing include, but are not limited to: Botswana, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Cases have been reported of human body parts allegedly removed from the corpses. The mortiferous character of ritual killing is not unique to African communities. During ancient biblical times, it was common that a son would be offered on the altar as a sacrifice to the gods. This article is multifaceted in its form. The study problematises phenomena of ritual murders by utilising narrative research in which human sacrifice, as depicted in the Old Testament, is the focus of attention. In addition, a comparative approach is employed to demonstrate that ritual murder is not unique to Africa. The article concludes by offering some recommendations towards obliterating ritual killing