A new study has found that beliefs in witchcraft are widespread, highly variable and often deeply ingrained around the world.
The study, which is published in the journal PLOS ONE, surveyed over 24,000 people across 24 countries. It found that belief in witchcraft was common in all of the countries surveyed, with an average of around 40% of respondents saying they believed in it.
However, there was a great deal of variation in belief levels between countries, with some (such as Nigeria and Papua New Guinea) reporting much higher levels of belief than others (such as the Czech Republic and Japan).
Belief in witchcraft was also found to be strongly associated with certain cultural and religious factors. For example, belief was highest among those who identified as animists (a belief that all natural objects have a spirit) or who were from lower-income households.
Interestingly, the study found that belief in witchcraft often went hand-in-hand with belief in other supernatural phenomena such as ghosts, zombies and fairies. This suggests that for many people, beliefs in witchcraft are part of a wider belief system in which the natural and supernatural worlds are closely intertwined.
The study highlights the need for further research on belief in witchcraft and its social and cultural implications. It also highlights the importance of taking local beliefs into account when working with communities around the world.
A study by the University of Bristol has found that beliefs in witchcraft are widespread, and highly variable around the world.
The study, which is the first of its kind, looked at data from over 1,000 surveys from nearly 70 countries. It found that, on average, around one in five people believe in some form of witchcraft.
However, there was a great deal of variation between countries. For example, in sub-Saharan Africa, around three-quarters of people surveyed believed in witchcraft, while in Europe, the figure was just one in ten.
The study also found that beliefs in witchcraft are more common among poorer and less educated people, and among those who have experienced negative life events, such as illness or bereavement.
The study highlights the need for more research into the causes and consequences of witchcraft beliefs, which can have a significant impact on people’s lives.