BHA voices concern to authorities over ‘witch hunter’ due to speak in the UK

16 September, 2016

A cover to one of Daniel Olukoya’s books.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has contacted the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police over concerns about a Nigerian pastor who works to ‘overpower witchcraft’ being due to speak in the UK. Daniel Olukoya will address 20,000 people at the ExCeL centre in Newham by video link from America this evening. The BHA has expressed concern about the harmful impact that beliefs in witchcraft can have on the safety of others, particularly children.

The Newham Recorder reports that ‘Pastor Olukoya’s books and his church’s websites say witchcraft must be fought and “overcome”, with prayers held at its branch in Houston, Texas, to “destroy the covens of witchcraft”.’

Over the years there have been cases of children in London being murdered by relatives due to accusations of witchcraft, such as 15-year-old Kristy Bamu, who was murdered in Newham by his sister and her partner in 2010 when he drowned in the bath during an attempted exorcism. In response to Olukoya’s speech in Newham, the Council said ‘We would have concerns about these events taking place in the borough and would work with partners to ensure the safety and security of our children.’

BHA Director of Public Affairs and Policy Pavan Dhaliwal commented, ‘Given the history of children being abused following accusations of witchcraft both in Nigeria and in London, we have serious concerns about anybody who genuinely wishes to ‘destroy witchcraft’ from being able to preach such beliefs to a UK audience, given the potential for incitement to violence. We have complained to the Home Office and to Project Violet, the Metropolitan Police’s project designed to prevent abuse due to faith, over Daniel Olukoya’s planned speech, and will be actively monitoring the situation.’


For further comment or information please contact BHA Campaigns Manager Richy Thompson at or on 020 7324 3072.

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.