Brief Chat with George Thindwa on Atheism in Malawi

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is the situation for atheism in Malawi? 

George Thindwa: Atheism is relatively very new in Malawi.

Jacobsen: How do Malawians view atheism? 

Thindwa: They are not very conversant about atheism.  Many take it as satanic religion.

Jacobsen: What is the dominant faith in Malawi? 

Thindwa: Christianity is the dominant religion at about 85% of Malawians are Christians.

Jacobsen: How does this affect economic and social development? 

Thindwa: It has affected development in a very negative way.  In Malawi, we praise for rains if it does not come.  We are also fond of praying for all our social and economic problems.

Jacobsen: What is your only work for atheism or lack of religion in Malawi?

Thindwa: We promote atheism as the best alternative life stance for promotes progress.

Secondly, we have been engaged in the eradication of witchcraft based violence towards children and the elderly. Children and elderly suspected of practicing witchcraft are subjected to a lot of violence and violation of their human rights like being killed, chased away from their homes, having their property destroyed or burnt.

Jacobsen: Who is a personal hero in the Malawi for you?

Thindwa: Dr. Paul Munyenyembe.

Jacobsen: For those in North American culture, or Canadian culture, what is something that they do not know but should about Malawi and religion? 

Thindwa: Religious practices are abusive and promote discrimination in Malawi, i.e, promotion of witchcraft beliefs which end up abusing elderly persons, hatred towards homosexuals and atheists.

Jacobsen: What are your hopes for irreligion in the coming years for Malawi?

Thindwa: It will take a long time to reach the stage for irreligion in Malawi.

Jacobsen: Thank you for your time, George.

Thindwa: Thanks, Scott.

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