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BOSTON: Two separate crimes against children in recent days have one haunting similarity: Authorities have pointed to Voodoo rituals as a possible motive. But practitioners of Haitian Vodou, which adherents spell differently to distinguish it from other variants, say the religion does not sanction violence and fear the crimes will spark a backlash against their community.Voodoo refers to religious practices developed by Caribbean slaves who took spiritual traditions from their native Africa and merged them with elements of Christianity and other faiths.It is not clear whether the woman is a follower of Haitian Vodou, and her attorney did not respond to an email sent Friday.Police said the girl's mother requested the ritual."Cleansing baths" designed to free someone from some sort of spiritual force are common in the various forms of the religion, said Jeffrey Anderson, a history professor at the University of Louisiana Monroe who has studied Louisiana Voodoo and Haitian Vodou.
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