Indonesia to outlaw "black magic"

Featured South East Asia - April 9th, 2013
thumb

Indonesia is set to ban sorcery or “black magic” to curb anti-witch killings.

Under proposed revisions to the Dutch colonial-era criminal code, Indonesia would make it illegal for anyone to “declare the possession of mysterious powers” or “encourage others to believe that by their actions they can cause mental or physical suffering of another person.”

The crime would be punishable by a jail sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to Rp300 million ($30,700), reports the Financial Times.

Sorcery has become a major issue in Indonesia, where belief in the supernatural is widespread. Hundreds of people accused of practicing black magic have been killed by anti-witchcraft vigilantes who have taken the law into their own hands, according to Foreign Policy.

Iman Santoso, one of Indonesia’s best-known warlocks, says black magic could solve the country’s most pressing problems.

“This is the heritage from our ancestors and we need to preserve it,” Santoso told the Financial Times. “Rather than banning it, we should use black magic to punish those who are corrupt.”