Pagan Studies - Rights & Advocacy
Witch Hunts Today
The witch-hunt lives on. In Angola and Congo, thousands of children are accused of sorcery and cast out by their families. In Java, alleged witches are chopped to pieces by mobs. In the American Southwest, the occasional bloodied corpse is said to be a “skinwalker” — the Navajo version of the witch — who has been secretly punished for his evil.1
Such events send a shiver down the spine of all who call themselves Witches2 or Pagans today. So they should, but not for the reasons you’d think. In the past, many of us have been reviled for believing and acting differently, perhaps accused of secretly working supernatural evil. We’re used to thinking that the establishment or the Church could turn on us, as it did on the unfortunate victims of the Great European Witch-Hunt of the 16th century. But the danger is much wider, and older, than that. If the witch-hunt rears its ugly head again closer to home, closer to us, it will probably take a form we don’t expect, but one in keeping with the true nature and deepest causes of the witch-hunt.