Three children were beaten to death in Myanmar during a black magic ritual designed to cleanse them of evil spirits, reports Agence France-Presse.
A spiritual healer in a village outside Yangon conducted an exorcism Tuesday night that ended three young lives. The mystic reportedly gave the families of the three children “blessed” water, the contents of which remain unknown. In a kind of trance, the children’s families watched as the healer violently beat their children to death.
Buddhism is the prominent religion in Myanmar, but superstition, black magic, and yadaya — magic created to fight evil — are still very common aspects of Burmese culture.
“Because of what he did, everyone was out of their mind,” Tun Naing told reporters, “I still feel afraid of something in my mind. I don’t understand what is happening.” After drinking the water provided by the spiritual healer, the villagers quickly lost touch with reality. They stood in a circle around the mystic as he chanted, cast spells, and murdered three children.
One child escaped death and was taken to the hospital by her father. It was at this point that authorities were alerted to the black magic activities.
The three children were buried in unmarked graves by Buddhist monks.
The exorcist is in police custody in Insein Prison and is being charged with murder, grievous bodily harm, and the willful concealment of a dead body.
Many of Myanmar’s modern leaders have consulted mystics and astrologists and incorporated superstitious notions into their policy decisions.
General Ne Win, who took power in 1962, changed the denominations of the country’s currency to add up to his lucky number nine, a move that caused economic chaos. He also reportedly walked backwards across bridges to ward off evil spirits and bathed in dolphin blood to prolong his life.
Other leaders have had personal mystic consultants, demonstrating the significance of such superstitions in Burmese society.
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