In the newspapers there have been harrowing accounts of human sacrifice. A five year old Nigerian boy was smuggled into Britain and murdered in a voodoo-style 'muti' ritual killing. He was drugged with a 'black-magic' potion and sacrificed before being thrown into the Thames, where his torso washed up next to the Globe Theatre in September 2001.
Hanneke van Dam is a Dutch missionary to Mongolia who works with the German organisation HELP International. She reports in a recent newsletter:
During the Welsh revival of 1904 there were many extraordinary incidents. Here is one of them.
During a revival meeting in a disused sawmill in Aberdare, a heckler began shouting – "There is no God, if there be a God strike us dead in our seats all of us three". The man was full of derision and nothing could staunch his flow. "There you are, you see nothing happens!" His scornful laughter reverberated around the building.
In Pittsburgh in the 1950s, a black evangelical Christian Robert Lavelle set up a most unusual bank. The Dwelling House Savings and Loan Association would lend money to poor people who are not 'good risks' at the lowest possible rates of interest. This banking philosophy challenges banking orthodoxy which prefers to lend money to rich people at high rates of interest.
It isn't only Romanian witches and politicians who live in pagan stories.
English poets are very fascinated by pagan and gnostic worldviews.
A few years ago a group of Romanian witches warned former Chelsea player, Adrian Mutu, that his career might suffer because of curses put on him by a former girlfriend.
"No problem", replied Mutu, revealing an unusual Romanian superstition. "Curses can't touch me because I wear my underwear inside out".
Many western people find this story perplexing and bizarre. Secular people do not just ignore God but they also ignore the spirits, the gods and the superstitious behaviour that paganism brings.