Nigerian bishops welcome Christian public action, denounce cult rituals

Nigerian Catholic bishops have welcomed the involvement of the laity in public affairs, the Fides news service reports.

"We thank God that more lay Christians are becoming involved in politics and are occupying various posts," the bishops said as they concluded their annual meeting. "We congratulate those who have been trying to be true witnesses of justice and peace."

The bishops also welcomed initiatives aimed to promoting peace and reconciliation in the Plateau State, where Christian and Muslim groups have clashed repeatedly in recent months.

And the Nigerian bishops conference expressed horror at the discovery of rituals involving human sacrifices by some cults. The bishops condemned "all fetish practices," and denounced any Christians who were involved with the cults. Their statement was in response to the discovery of 50 bodies and 20 skulls in a "sacred" forest used for cultic practices.