Witchcraft was a major problem for women in the medieval ages, with the official law and order system of countries actually trying women and killing them for the same. This was with the sanction of the Church, but was something that was stopped many centuries. However, even now, in many parts of the world, you hear of some poor lady or the other being accused of witchcraft (this provides somebody who is suffering an outlet to blame somebody for their problems, and when combined with societies where people believe in magic) and being killed. However, these are not officially sanctioned, and are more individual or mob actions.
So it was very surprising when I read this news article about a woman being beheaded in Saudi Arabia for practising sorcery. Does Saudi Arabia believe that a person could actually know magic, and yet not be able to save herself from being accused and executed for such a crime ? Apparently yes, since the news report makes it clear that the conviction was for forgery, which led to a beheading (link to article):
A Saudi woman was beheaded on Monday after being convicted of practising sorcery, which is banned in the ultra-conservative kingdom, the interior ministry said.
Amina bint Abdulhalim Nassar was executed in the northern province of Jawf for "practising witchcraft and sorcery," the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.
|Ancient Paganism: The Sorcery of the Fallen Angels|
The Path: A Practical Approach to Sorcery