Catholic Bishops in Nigeria Alarmed by Rise in Paganism among Youth

Members of the Owerri Ecclesiastical Province (OWEP) in Nigeria. Credit: Umuahia Diocese/Facebook

Catholic Bishops of Nigeria’s Owerri Ecclesiastical Province are concerned about the increasing rate of neo-paganism among the young people who are resorting to ritual ways of acquiring money.

In their Wednesday, August 9 statement following a two-day meeting at Umuahia Diocesan Secretariat, members of the Owerri Ecclesiastical Province (OWEP) expressed regret that some rituals include criminal activities.

“We are alarmed at the rate at which our young people are relapsing into neo-paganism,” the OWEP members who include Local Ordinaries of Owerri Archdiocese, and the Dioceses of Aba, Ahiara, Okigwe, Umuahia, and Orlu said.

The Bishops added that the young people in the West African nation “are lured into fetish rituals in their quest for money, for demonic powers and false assurances of protection.”

They further expressed concern that young people in Nigeria belonging to different cults are intimidating others, and are using the cults to conceal their criminal activities from the eyes of the law.


The Bishops noted that some people in ritual activities are now blaming Christianity for the rise in insecurity, poverty, and other challenges that Nigeria is facing.

“Using the cover of the revival of our Traditional Religion and culture, some of our intellectuals are attacking Christianity as if Christianity is the cause of our present woes,” the Catholic Bishops said.

The Bishops highlighted ritual killing among violent crimes contributing to worsening insecurity in the country and warned the young people against the practice, saying, “This cannot be a way forward for our youths and our society.”

“Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Let us, therefore, strengthen ourselves with prayers and energize our lives with the word of God, so that we may be the salt of the earth and the light world to eliminate and banish neo-paganism and the works of darkness and evil in our environment,” the Bishops said.

They also lamented about increasing insecurity in different parts of the country which they said had led to multiple deaths.

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“Nigerians have seen their freedom to move about and hustle for their daily needs hampered by a rising insecurity that has led to scores of deaths of innocent citizens,” the Bishops said.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.