Deborah Schoenfeld
Deborah Schoenfeld claims practising her Hindu faith led to her dismissal from the dental clinicMilitary Religious Freedom Foundation

A woman was allegedly sacked from a dental clinic in Maryland, USA, after being accused of being a witch. Deborah Schoenfeld claims that she was targeted because she is a Hindu.

Schoenfeld told the Air Force Times that colleagues at the Epes Dental Clinic in Fort Meade, where she worked as a dental technician, harassed her for practising yoga and meditation, claiming the practices were satanic. One colleague told her that meditation summons demons, Schoefeld alleges, and told her "all the soldiers who are doing meditation and yoga to help their PTSD, they are getting infected also."

Schoenfeld claims that when her requests to commanders for help were ignored, she was forced to file a formal complaint. That day she was fired for allegedly swearing at a co-worker, and was told she did not have the right to know who her accusers were.

Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which is defending Schoenfeld, wrote in a letter to officials.

"We have spoken with witnesses at the clinic under your command who have universally confirmed that, not only did this horrid harassment take place, but ever since the execution of her punishment for failing the religious test imposed by the leadership of Epes Dental Clinic, a particular offending party has effusively celebrated her replacement by a Catholic woman by saying publicly that 'It's good to see we got an angel, since last time we had the devil.'"

Two of Schoenfeld's former colleagues confirmed to the Air Force Times that other workers at the clinic were devoutly Christian. The Air Force District of Washington has received Weinstein's letter and is looking into the allegations raised, said spokesman Major Joel Harper.