Sorcery, Witchcraft, Superstition, and Stupidity

Here is another article from the “Phnom Penh Post” which follows up on a previous article I posted about. Let’s pray that the Gospel continues to spread in this area, and frees these people from all the demonic stuff that’s going on here.

Cambodian ‘Sorcerers’ Damned to Exile
(Phnom Penh Post~June 19, 2012)

“I would like to ask to everyone to stop saying that my village is a sorcerer village, because some people who are sorcerers have already been killed,” she says.

Brutal killings, including a case in which an alleged sorcerer was hacked to death by axe-wielding villagers, are not uncommon in Cambodia and have led authorities to take unusual actions in Ratanakkiri…

…About five years ago, 44-year-old Ra Chorm Veuch fled nearby Khoun village, fearing for her life after some villagers got sick then claimed she had subsequently appeared in their dreams. Her fate was sealed with the accusation that she had “red eyes”…

…Ma Vichet, police chief of Ratanakkiri’s O’Yadav district, says his department’s research has revealed that most common source of accusation – sickness – comes from poor sanitation, drinking water that had not boiled and people not washing their hands.

But he still challenged villages to deploy their own traditional test – a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” ritual reminiscent of medieval European witch hunts in which the accuser and accused must dip their finger in molten lead and sustain no burns to prove innocence…

…In 2001, three family members in Ratanakkiri, including a 7-year-old girl, were shackled and then drowned after being accused of sorcery, Pen Bonnar, provincial co-ordinator of the rights group Adhoc, says…

…There are many more cases, and while belief in black magic is strongest among the heavily animistic indigenous ethnic minorities in Cambodia, the fear of ghosts and sorcerers has also strongly permeated into mainstream Buddhist culture.

Yet while Theravada Buddhism has developed as a hybridized, polytheistic religion incorporating Hindu gods and animistic beliefs, notions of black magic and sorcery have not gone unchallenged…

…In Ratanakkiri, the occult beliefs are also under attack from another religious source, Christian proselytising, which has come to the rescue of 51-year-old Rocham Char, an accused sorcerer in O’Yadav district Somkul village who was threatened with murder and exile last year.

The now mostly Christian villagers say they have abandoned their suspicions of him and are happy for him to stay, although his accuser, Kloeun Nhieu, still maintains he is a black magic practitioner.

Click here to read full article

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