Friday, February 16, 2007

Witchcraft Brings Murder To Pacific Paradise

Once hailed as an untouched Shangri-La, the mist-shrouded highlands of Papua New Guinea are undergoing a dramatic resurgence in sorcery and witchcraft.

Age-old beliefs in black magic and evil curses are back with a vengeance in jungle-clad mountain valleys which were unknown to the outside world until the 1930s.

Suspected witches – mostly women but including some men and even children – have been subjected to horrific torture before being hanged or thrown off cliffs.

A growing Aids crisis and the collapse of health services have sapped villagers' faith in Western medicine and prompted a return to ancestral beliefs. Full Story

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