Salem Witch Trials and Persecution

Topics: Salem witch trials, United States, Witchcraft Pages: 2 (641 words) Published: April 10, 2007

What is persecution exactly? Webster defines it as a punishment or harassment usually of the severe nature based on fear, race, religion or beliefs. There have been many cases of persecution in the world such as the Salem witch trials, or in China and even in the United States of America. Persecution is happening all the time be it over fear, religion, race or beliefs, and in many cases, it ends in the death of many innocent people. Persecution today is no different when it happened in the past.

In the spring of 1692, a terrible act of persecution took place in the Salem witch trials. In these trials nineteen people were hanged because they were falsely accused of being witches. We get a better idea what went on in these trials from The Crucible, which is a play by Arthur Miller. In this play we see persecution that is fueled by jealousy and fear. This case of persecution was lead by a young lady named Abigail who controlled the other girls with fear. She controlled the girls with threats of murder such as, "'I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down'" (Miller 920). Using threats like these Abigail was able to convict many people in Salem of being witches; usually the people she convicted had either wanted something of theirs or they knew something about her. When Abigail accused John Proctor's wife of witch craft just because Abigail wanted John for herself. Abigail's lust for John becomes prominent when she say's, "' John—I am waitin' for you every night'" (Miller 922).

Not all persecution is fueled by lust or fear. In china religion is the subject of persecution. Just last year a man by the name of Cai Zhuohua was convicted of conducting " illegal Business Practices" (Pan 1) for simply printing copies of the bible and giving them away for no profit and was sentenced two to three years in prison. But the Chinese government did not see it that way; the government viewed it as "Infiltration" (Pan 2). The Chinese government...
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