The Western world is being intrigued with witchcraft and the occult, so much so that it drew the attention from Pope Benedict XVI on a recent trip to Africa days ago, a continent that has seen a surge in the darker side of the occult: child sacrifice. This practice is seen to break curses and bring good luck from past misfortune.http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2011/11/pope-warns-against-witchcraft.php?source=NEWSLETTER&nlsource=11&ppc=&utm_campaign=Bible&utm_source=NL&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_term=yahoo.com
Pope Benedict XVI warned the faithful against “dabbling” in witchcraft due to the resurgence of interest in franchise movies as Harry Potter and Twilight.
The danger of combining occultic concepts of traditional African magic with Christianity is not only an ongoing problem in the African culture, but the adoption of “Harry Potter” concepts is becoming an issue in the Western culture, including the United States.
John Allen Jr., writing for the National Catholic Reporter, noted “For many in the Western world, ‘witchcraft’ may seem a benign form of New Age spirituality; the chaplains’ handbook for the US military recognizes ‘Wicca’, a modern form of witchcraft, as a legitimate religious practice.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca
“Across Africa, things look very differently. The working assumption is that magical powers are real, but they’re demonic---a connection that can have devastating consequences,” added Allen.
Patrick Lafon, former secretary general of the bishops’ conference in the African nation of Cameroon, told Allen recently that many Catholics in Africa may show up for mass on Sunday, but “if there’s a sickness in the family, they’ll also consult their tribal medicine man to find out who placed the curse and what they need to do to lift it”.http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_afri.htm
Western culture utilizes similar approaches although the techniques can be views as more “sophisticated”. In one example, Protestant religious groups will use faith healing in many settings, but they will also consult their medical expert to find out how to rid a particular sickness. Many afflictions are viewed as “psychological” in the Western culture but more “spiritual” in the African culture.
Those that are in Western settings as the United States may scoff at the potions, elixirs and antics of the African witch doctors, but then use more “approved” drugs and healing methods themselves that are deemed more mainstream. A placebo is still present in many medical Western practices since people will recover various afflictions from treatments simply because they believe they are suppose to.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placedo
The human mind is subject to many external stimuli, and belief or “spiritual” influence play a significant role.
The movie “Twilight” is triggering seizers in some viewers, allegedly from the flashing and bright colors during a intense birthing scene in the movie. The medical culture in American will ridicule the idea of “demonic influences” causing any physical or mental issue, however the evidence still mounts of people reporting unsettling experiences after dabbling in occultic practices or being present in "supernatural" settings. Serious attempts to investigate these manifestations typically do not take place, even in religious training at seminary schools.
Sicknesses, afflictions, and diseases are reported in the Bible to have demonic originations, and the present culture in Africa and western nations point to many unknowns as a cause for many ailments. The evidence of medical recovery from unknown sources is too abundant to pass off as coincidence.http://informationaboutgod.com/articles/misc_religion/dodemonscausesickness.php
Medical practitioners are aware that how a patient responds to medical treatment is impacted greatly by their religious beliefs and spirituality. These “intangibles” assist greatly in the recovery and healing of any cases although it’s adequately uexplained.http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/viewnews.php?id=75384
The benefit and detriment of our health is impacted by what Pope Benedict warned about on his recent junket to Africa. Dabbling in any spiritual unknown can unlock a key to a Pandora’s box that the dabbler did not count on.