While you might think that human sacrifices belong solely to the ancient world, several contemporary cases of ritual murders have occurred in modern times. Some may dismiss it as nothing more than “Satanic panic” but across the globe, ritualistic murders continue to crop up even in the 21st century. Here are 15 countries where modern day human sacrifices have been known to occur.
In South Asia, red bricks are a highly popular building material and it’s widely thought that the redder the brick, the higher the quality. One brickmaking company in Bangladesh, however, went too far in an attempt to produce red bricks: they committed sacrificial murder.
In 2010, four brick field employees were arrested for murdering their 26-year-old co-worker and burning his head in a kiln. The workers claimed to have acted on the orders of the company owners, who were told by a fortune teller that a human sacrifice would deepen the color of their bricks.
While many parts of India are highly developed, ancient superstition and folklore are still widely practiced in the more far-flung rural areas and have led to several cases of modern human sacrifice. One such case occurred as recently as 2015 when a five-year-old boy was abducted and beheaded by a man who then collected the boy’s blood and sprinkled it around his home. Upon discovering the man’s gruesome crime, an angry mob of villagers tied the suspect up and set him ablaze in an act of retribution.
Sacrifice has long been a part of Hinduism, and while most modern practitioners stick to animals such as goats and roosters, some have been known to turn to humans in an effort to please the gods or ward off spirits. A 10-year-old Nepalese boy was thought to be the victim of a human sacrifice in 2015 when his body was discovered in a bush in Kudiya in southern Nepal. A man confessed to slitting the child’s throat on the advice of a shaman in an attempt to “chase away the evil spirits” from his own ailing son. Five people were arrested in connection to the crime.