I found this video and article http://saveafricaswitches.wordpress.com/witchcraft-in-africa/
show the belief of witchcraft and it’s origins.
Local beliefs and theories about witchcraft may be influenced by ideologies that are brought in by various religious groups. Problems that are common to humanity may be attributed to demons, witches or Satan. The belief in these concepts is not necessarily a predecessor to abuse or violence.
It is the destructive behavior resulting from these beliefs that can be dangerous.
The most famous witch trial in history happened in Salem, Massachusetts, during the winter and spring of 1692-1693. When it was all over, 141 suspects, both men and women, were tried as witches. Nineteen were executed by hanging. One was pressed to death by heavy stones.
Belief in witchcraft is widespread. A 2005 poll of Canadians and people from the United Kingdom found that 13 percent believed in witches. For Americans, that number was even higher: 21 percent.
Accusations of witchcraft can be associated with good luck as well as bad luck. Nigeria’s oil boom, which began in the 1970s, has made a few of its citizens extremely wealthy. Some Nigerians explain this rapid accumulation of money and power as a sign of witchcraft. As recently as 2007, children accused of witchcraft in Nigeria were burned, poisoned, and abused.
In India, landowning women are sometimes accused of witchcraft. Neighbors of the suspected witch may begin collecting firewood on which the suspect will burn. The women, often older widows, are scared enough to leave their homes. Their neighbors then take their land.
So this is not just a belief rooted in African heritage. I am sad to see such atrocities are happening to this day. If someone is accused of doing wrong, there should be a process of trial through courts, not people being burned alive/tortured for things that cannot be proved as a matter of fact.
I believe in natural medicine, the healing of spirituality but not of killing people because one things a bad curse has been put on them.