Kathmandu, Nepal (CNN) — A 40-year-old mother of two was burned alive in central Nepal after she was accused of being a witch, police said Saturday.
Dhegani Mahato was attacked and set on fire by family members and others after a shaman allegedly accused her of casting a spell to make one of her relatives sick, Police Officer Hira Mani Baral said.
The attack occurred Friday in Bagauda in Chitwan district, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, Baral said by telephone.
Police arrested 10 people, including two shamans, five women and an 8-year-old boy, in connection with the burning.
“Those arrested have confessed to their crime and will be charged with murder,” Baral said.
Mahato had just finished cleaning a cowshed early in the morning when she was attacked, Baral said.
She was beaten with sticks and rocks before being doused with kerosene and set afire, an attack witnessed by her 9-year-old daughter, according to the local police report.
Neighbors told police they were alerted to the attack but by then it was too late to save her.
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai appealed to the people not to heed to shamans and faith healers.
The government announced 1 million Nepalese rupees (about $14,000) in compensation for Mahato’s two children.
Get two birds. Kill one. Dip the live bird in the blood of the dead one. Sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times, and then let the blood-soaked bird fly away. Next find a lamb and kill it. Wipe some of its blood on the patient’s right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle seven times with oil and wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe. Repeat. Finally find another pair of birds. Kill one and dip the live bird in the dead bird’s blood. Wipe some blood on the patient’s right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle the house with blood 7 times.
– Leviticus 14:2-52
Saudi Arabia is a country run by cavemen.
A Lebanese man sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia on charges of witchcraft is due to be beheaded this week, his lawyer said on Wednesday, urging officials and rights groups to intervene on his behalf.”Last night we got news through unofficial channels that Ali Sabat would be beheaded within 48 hours,” May el-Khansa, Sabat’s attorney in Beirut told AFP.
“I have since been contacting Lebanese officials, including President Michel Sleiman and Lebanon’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia to appeal his case.”
Sabat was sentenced to death in November of last year by a Saudi court for practicing witchcraft.
He was arrested in May 2008 by the religious police in Medina, where he was on a pilgrimage before returning to his native Lebanon.
The case against him was brought after he gave advice and made predictions on Lebanese television.
Khansa said Lebanon’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia was in contact with Sabat and someone from the embassy had visited him on Wednesday in his jail cell.
“It is very important that we save the life of this one person,” she said. “He is not a criminal.”
She added that Sabat’s family was in shock and that his mother was seriously ill with doctors saying she could die anytime.
Rights groups have expressed concern about Sabat’s case and similar ones pending in Saudi Arabia and have accused Saudi courts of sanctioning a literal witch hunt by the religious police.
Saudi Arabia has no clear legal definition on the charge of witchcraft and judges are given discretionary power in determining what constitutes a crime and what sentence to impose.
In November 2007, Mustafa Ibrahim, an Egyptian working as a pharmacist in Saudi Arabia was beheaded after he was found guilty of sorcery.
Good thing she did, we can’t very well have a vice president flying around on magical brooms, now can we?
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A grainy YouTube video surfaced Wednesday showing Sarah Palin being blessed in her hometown church three years ago by a Kenyan pastor who prayed for her protection from “witchcraft” as she prepared to seek higher office.
The video shows Palin standing before Bishop Thomas Muthee in the pulpit of the Wasilla Assembly of God church, holding her hands open as he asked Jesus Christ to keep her safe from “every form of witchcraft.”
“Come on, talk to God about this woman. We declare, save her from Satan,” Muthee said as two attendants placed their hands on Palin’s shoulders. “Make her way my God. Bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus. … Use her to turn this nation the other way around.”
Palin filed campaign papers a few months later, in October 2005, and was elected governor the next year.
Palin does not say anything on the video and keeps her head bowed throughout the blessing. The Republican vice presidential candidate was baptized at the church but stopped attending regularly in 2002.
A spokesman for the McCain campaign declined to comment. A person who answered the phone at the Wasilla church confirmed the video was from May 2005 but declined further comment.
Palin was baptized Roman Catholic as a newborn.
Pentecostals are conservative in their reading of the Bible. Unlike most other Christians â€” including most evangelicals â€” Pentecostals believe in “baptism in the Holy Spirit.” That can manifest itself through speaking in tongues, modern-day prophesy and faith healing, which includes the laying on of hands.
Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign, has said Palin attends different churches and does not consider herself Pentecostal.
On a visit to the church in June 2008, Palin spoke fondly of the Kenyan pastor and told a group of young missionaries that Muthee’s prayers had helped her to become governor.
“Pastor Muthee was here and he was praying over me, and you know how he speaks and he’s so bold,” she said. “And he was praying ‘Lord make a way, Lord make a way’ … He said, ‘Lord make a way and let her do this next step.’ And that’s exactly what happened.”
The Rev. Zipporah Ndiritu, who studied under Muthee in the Kiambu, Kenya-based Word of Faith Church, said the bishop is revered among evangelicals there. In a phone interview from Mombasa, Kenya, she said church doctrine focuses on ridding the world of demons â€” and witches.
“Even in the days of Jesus Christ, according to the Bible there were witches who were manifesting through demonic forces,” she said. “You can seek from the Lord, and if you find demonic forces you cast them out.”
Ndiritu said she did not know Palin.