So in response to my Raise your glass in a toast edition of Honoring the New Year, the ever fabulous Atumn Windwalker (who, if she ever settles down on one blog for more than a few months, will be a major star in the Pagan blogosphere!!) had this to say…
“I’d be hesitant to make South African purchases, however, because witch hunts are rampant through the country, and they do get ugly.
Yes, people are victimized, and quite badly, because they are accused of witchcraft. Children are thrown out of their homes, women are beaten, etc. It’s not good.
Just a heads up.”
I’d like to take a moment to argue the exact opposite…
It’s worse than that, folks have been killed! Yet, it’s not exactly boycott material, at least for me…
As I understand the issue, the “Witch Hunts” in South Africa, and in other countries on the Continent, are a result of superstition and cultural issues and not any sort of organized government programs. These tragic incidents, where innocent folks in rural areas have been killed, have a lot more to do with the ignorance…
“my cow died it must be old lady so-and-so’s fault… she cursed it, she’s a Wiiitch!!!”
…than with either modern Paganism or the South African government.
In point of fact, in the face of these awful killings the South African government has been very active in trying to respond, as had the South African Neo-Pagan community, this resulted in some friction (briefly) with the SA Pagan community, but the government clarified its position and hopefully things are on the mend.
For myself, had I the money to spare I would buy a bottle of the previously mentioned wine and pray that some portion of my money worked its way to do good. I would also look at some of the groups listed below to see what sort of work they might be doing to stop the tide to superstition based murder.
Autumn has reminded me that it is important to consider where your spending your money. A favorite theme of mine, actually!
My favorite South African Pagan Blogger
~ That she’s the only one I know of, is ENTIRELY immaterial!! Her writing is personal and evocative.
South African Pagan Community Groups
South African Pagan Rights Alliance
Pagan Federation of South Africa
Pagan Federation International South Africa
A Pagan Witches Touchstone ~ a report from the above mentioned organization examining the social, cultural, and legal situation of Witch Hunts in depth.
Vuya! Pagan ~ a Southern Hemisphere Pagan portal site offering news and forums