(AP) — 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.

“We are being targeted,” said Maude Evans, a Haitian native and Vodou priestess in Boston’s Mattapan neighborhood. “I’m really concerned that that’s how it’s going to be from now on. They will do things and blame it on Vodou.”

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