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Priest and expert on witchcraft dies in Taiwan

TAIPEI (UCAN): Father Karl Stahli, from the Swiss Bethlehem Mission Society and a student of Bunun culture specialising in its witchcraft practices, died at the age of 80 after more than 50 years in Taiwan.

He was buried in Kaohsiung on March 18. Three busloads of Catholic people from the Bunun tribe in eastern Taiwan came to pay their respects to the priest, whom they referred to as a guardian angel.

In 2009, he was the only one who could persuade them to evacuate their mountain homes when Typhoon Morakot hit.

“The indigenous people did not trust the government. They feared that if they evacuated, the government would not let them return,” Reverend Lu Chun-yi said.

Catholic writer, Wang Shu-kuei, said Father Stahli once told her his interest in Bunun witchcraft arose from his knowledge of witchcraft in Switzerland.

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