Indonesian villagers blame magic, not flu

If there were a village of atheists (hard to imagine), they might well react to natural events with their own brand of ignorance — we’re all ignorant of something, and fear of the unknown is a very human quality. Still, one should note that religion and faith are doing nothing in the following case to counter ignorance and fear. mjh

Indonesian villagers blame magic, not flu

Some neighbors insist, however, that bird flu is not to blame. They are convinced black magic is at work, that ghosts now haunt their quiet Christian community of about 1,500 people.

Many are too scared to even pass by the family’s houses, and some who live nearby are awakened by nightmares that they will be the next to die.

“We are so afraid just to step into that house,” said a 37-year-old woman who identified herself only as Sembining. “We can’t tell what we’re afraid of – we’re just afraid.”