Leo Igwe

Leo Igwe (born July 26, 1970) is a Nigerian human rights advocate and humanist. Igwe is a former Western and Southern African representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, and has specialized in campaigning against and documenting the impacts of child witchcraft accusations. He holds a Ph.D from the Bayreuth International School of African Studies at the University of Bayreuth in Germany, having earned a graduate degree in Philosophy from the University of Calabar in Nigeria. Igwe's human rights advocacy has brought him into conflict with high-profile witchcraft believers, such as Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries, because of his criticism of what he describes as their role in the violence and child abandonment that sometimes result from accusations of witchcraft. His human rights fieldwork has led to his arrest on several occasions in Nigeria. Igwe has held leadership roles in the Nigerian Humanist Movement, Atheist Alliance International, and the Center For Inquiry—Nigeria. In 2012, Igwe was appointed as a Research Fellow of the James Randi Educational Foundation, where he continues working toward the goal of responding to what he sees as the deleterious effects of superstition, advancing skepticism throughout Africa and around the world. In 2014, Igwe was chosen as a laureate of the International Academy of Humanism and in 2017 received the Distinguished Services to Humanism Award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union. Igwe was raised in southeastern Nigeria, and describes his household as being strictly Catholic in the midst of a "highly superstitious community," according to an interview in the Gold Coast Bulletin.[1] At age twelve, Igwe entered the seminary, beginning to study for the Catholic priesthood, but later was confused by conflicting beliefs between Christian theology and the beliefs in witches and wizards that are "entrenched in Nigerian society."[1] After a period of research and internal conflict due to doubts about the "odd blend of tribalism and fundamentalist Christianity he believes is stunting African development," a 24-year-old Igwe resigned from the seminary and relocated to Ibadan, Nigeria

international atheist day
Leo Igwe on 04th Apr

By Leo Igwe The international atheist day was on March 23. This date has been set aside to highlight the struggles of atheists...

Leo Igwe on 18th Mar

By Leo Igwe The title of a local movie, the Fake Prophet, that was distributed in Nigeria as part of the campaign against...

Apostasy
Leo Igwe on 02nd Feb

Written By Leo Igwe It was originally planned to take place in Kaduna. It was planned as a small Café humanist-que event ...

Islam and Persecution of Ex-Muslims
Leo Igwe on 23rd Jan

By Leo Igwe It is my pleasure to use this medium to inform you about the concerns of the humanist/atheist community in Nigeria....

Apostates: You Are Not Alone
Leo Igwe on 21st Jan

By Leo Igwe A warm welcome to all delegates from Abuja and from the states of the federation including those who are joining...

Leo Igwe on 05th Jan

By Leo Igwe Nigerians who are born into one religion or another are compelled to keep professing that religion-family religion...

Women Rights
Leo Igwe on 02nd Jan

   By Leo Igwe  Protests and scuffles over the use of the Islamic veil by Muslim schoolgirls have recently been sweeping...

African Baptism Deaths
Leo Igwe on 31st Dec

In 2018, two cases where people died in the course of baptism should serve as some food for thought to African believers....

Muslim Violence
Leo Igwe on 28th Dec

By Leo Igwe The Nigerian nation-state is under assault from jihadist groups on two main fronts. First, on the non-state...

Does Africa Need a Religious Reformation?
Leo Igwe on 26th Dec

By Leo Igwe Africa’s religious landscape is changing very rapidly, in various ways. These changes include the introduction...