Sorcery beliefs altered: Study


A MELANESIAN study shows sorcery has changed and become more malicious, used for selfish reason in urban areas then it was in village settings, according to the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands secretary Maria Mondu.
It is now being practiced as an excuse to gain profit, to get what one wants.
“Sorcery-related victims and killings have escalated over the last three years and church agencies are waiting for the Government to enforce a national action plan against sorcery and witchcraft and related violence,” she said.
“We tend to use sorcery as an excuse to accuse or kill the weaker one just to take on the powers and the leadership in the society, workplace and in the community.”
Mondu said people used sorcery to destroy other people’s life, the way corruption works at all levels in the country.
“People use their power to gain what they want and hold what position they wish to,” Mondu said.
She said when the law was enforced, village courts would go into work effectively.
“It is not a difficult thing to change the way you dress, same applies to the law,” she said.
“The new-age living has changed, the laws also must change.”
The PNG Council of Churches made a submission to the National Executive Council (NEC) in 2014 after widespread news of two women being accused of witchcraft which drew international attention in 2013. The law was to stop accusations leading to sorcery-related violence, to deal effectively with the perpetrators and to address survivors and restore security to communities.
The Melanesian Research Institute is based in Goroka where work continues on sorcery.