In response to what is seen as a troubling rise in occult practices, a state in India has passed an expansive law which bans a vast array of black magic rituals.
Earlier this week, the Karnataka state government approved their 'Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill.'
Known colloquially as simply the 'Anti-Superstition Bill,' the new regulations prohibit a remarkable number of esoteric rituals which range from the strange to the downright dangerous.
Included among the outlawed practices are walking atop hot coals as part of a religious ritual, calling upon ghosts to aid in a person's affairs, and telling an individual that they are possessed by evil spirits as a way of ensnaring them into servitude to those who use black magic.
Throwing stones at houses and heaving children upon a bed of thorns, ostensibly to cleanse them of negativity, are also banned by the bill as is beating a person who is believed to be suffering from demonic possession.
Additionally, attempting to seek hidden treasure or lost items by way of rituals purportedly allowing one to contact the proverbial 'other side' for guidance is no longer permitted in Karnataka under the law.
Ultimately, the bill is largely aimed at putting a stop to rituals where people are physically harmed or could be easily injured as more benign religious practices such as piercing a child's ears or holding festivals are still allowed.
And, indicating that not all esoteric arts are forbidden by the bill, the use of astrology for divination and guidance remains legal in Karnataka.
Whether the newly-passed law can eradicate the state's 'black magic problem' remains to be seen as belief in the power of these rituals has proven to be remarkably strong and prohibiting the occult practices could wind up only giving them more power in the minds on those who may turn to them.