Saudi Arabia's "anti-corruption purge" has been the topic of discussion this week, after several high-profile ministers, ex-ministers and princes were arrested under orders from the new anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

But, that's not all. 

The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice led a training program earlier this week titled "development of scientific skills in the fight against witchcraft." 

The program, which took place in Ramada al-Hada in the city of Taif, saw 27 people attend.

All participants received certificates of attendance from Sheikh Yahya bin al-Hazmi, head of the Taif Governorate, who reportedly now believes that all those who took part in the program have "new skills" that will benefit the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

The training program concluded on Wednesday. 

Black Magic is a crime in the kingdom


In 2009, Saudi Arabia's government created and formalized a special "Anti-Witchcraft Unit" aimed to educate the public about the evils of sorcery, and investigate alleged witches. 

"We deal with sorcerers in a special way. No one should think that we mention the name of whomever files a report about sorcery [sic]," Sheikh Adel Faqih, minister of economy and planning, once said. 

That same year, at least 118 people were charged with "practicing magic" or "using the book of Allah in a derogatory manner" in Mecca. 

Domestic workers have been at the forefront of "black magic" accusations

Workers who have attempted to report employers' abuse have faced prosecution on charges of theft, black magic or sorcery, according to a report published by Human Rights Watch.

Earlier this year, a woman in the kingdom created a Snapchat account for the sole purpose of interrogating domestic workers who have either lied about their religion or practiced black magic. 

But, the crackdown extends well beyond just domestic workers. 

In 2014, a Sudanese woman and a Saudi man were also arrested for reportedly practicing black magic and sorcery in two separate cases. 

The Saudi man claimed he was an "expert in removing the evil eye" and resolving "love and hate issues." 

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice sent a woman to expose the man in a planned trap, ultimately leading to the man's arrest. 

In 2007, Egyptian pharmacist Mustafa Ibrahim was beheaded in Riyadh after he was arrested on charges of "practicing magic and sorcery as well as adultery and desecration of the Holy Quran," according to The Atlantic