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Bahrain Urged to Crack Down on Black Magic

By Benjamin Radford

An official in Bahrain has demanded that his government take steps to warn its citizens about the dangers of witchcraft and crack down on its practice.

Bahrain is hardly alone in its embrace of, or perhaps belief in, witches and black magic, as places such as Saudi Arabia, Africa and Papua New Guinea have long tossed accusations of dark arts’ practices at purported sorcerers. In fact, a Gallup poll in 2010 found that half of respondents in sub-Saharan Africa said they personally believe in witchcraft. That number varied across Africa, ranging from 15 percent in Uganda to 95 percent in Ivory Coast. Such beliefs in witchcraft have led to horrific murders and mutilations, as well as dangerous medical practices (as carried out by so-called witch doctors).

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