Modern Times

“It is commonly suggested that some nine million men, women, and children died in the Witch hunts. There is no historical evidence to support this figure and, in examining records of the Witch trials, scholars have determined that about 40,000 demonstrable executions took place. This figure may be too small, as some Catholic scholars who have had access to unpublished documents in the Vatican Library have reported that they found evidence for several hundred thousand deaths during the Burning Times.

In modern times, it is perhaps difficult to appreciate the strong religious component in the American Revolution. The overthrow of the Anglican Church, as well as of the English government, was the major goal of most Patriots. The Patriots remembered the Witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, where some of the very last executions for the practice of “Witchcraft” in the English-speaking world took place. Supporters of the Bill of Rights argued that one of the purposes of the First Amendment was to ensure that nothing like the Salem Witch trials could ever happen again.”

James R. Lewis

Witchcraft Today
An Encyclopedia of Wiccan and Neopagan Traditions

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