Witchcraft is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers, often to cause harm to members of a community or their property. There are other uses of the term that distinguishes bad witchcraft and good witchcraft. A witch is different from a sorcerer in that they do not need physical tools or actions to curse somebody but can curse someone with just words or thought alone. In anthropology, European witchcraft is seen by historians as an ideology for explaining misfortune.
Beliefs in witchcraft and witch hunts are found in many cultures worldwide today, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Christianity and Islam witchcraft was viewed as evil and fears about it rose and sometimes led to large scale witch hunts. Christians believed that Christianity was a battle against the devil and his army of witches. Tens or hundreds of thousands of people were executed and others were imprisoned, tortured, banished, and had lands taken away because of being accused of witches. Most of these people were women but some were also men.
A form of modern witchcraft is called Wicca. People who perform Wicca are known as Wiccans or Witches. Wicca is typically a religion that worships a God and a Goddess who are traditionally viewed as Horned God and Triple Goddess. The Horned God is associated with nature, wilderness, sexuality, hunting and the life cycle. While this figure is not equal to the Christian figure of Satan a small percentage of Wiccans refer to the Horned God to names given to Satan as “Lucifer” or the “devil”. Sometimes the God is viewed... [continues]
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