Sun, Jul 07, 2013 - Page 7 News List

FEATURE: Norway remembers witches at ‘Gates of Hell’

AFP, VARDOE, Norway

Four hundred years later, the horrors have ended in Europe, but are still happening elsewhere, historians say.

Today, just like centuries ago, the alleged witches are usually scapegoats accused of causing illness, death, a shipwreck, a failed harvest or any other misfortune.

About 50,000 people are believed to have paid with their lives in Europe during the medieval witch trials. However, by comparison, the number of people killed for the same reason worldwide since World War II is estimated at between 70,000 and 80,000.

“These are official figures and probably only the tip of the iceberg,” University of Tromsoe historian Rune Blix Hagen says. “The monument in Vardoe is also a reminder that the persecution is not over.”

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