Voice of the Martyrs, 9 March 2023 (excerpts)
Benin is a small country bordering western Nigeria and is considered the birthplace of Voodoo. Occult practices, including idol worship, sacrificing animals, and wearing special talismans believed to ward off evil, are widespread. Voodoo is so commonly practiced in Benin that it has a National Voodoo Day on January 10.
This year in a small Benin town, Voodooists burned down a church when local Christians refused to honour the village idols during the celebration. The pastor asks for prayer that the village people will be freed from bondage of Voodoo, that the church will be rebuilt, and that the congregation will be strengthened despite persecution.
Every village and many homes in the north have a designated place for animal sacrifice (and sometimes human sacrifice). Voodoo is an official religion and Witchcraft is deeply ingrained and openly practiced. Christianity is considered a foreign religion that steals a community’s youth from being properly initiated into the local tribes. Every village chief serves as both a political leader and a voodoo priest.
The country is 30 percent Christian, including 8 percent evangelical. 40 percent practice ethnic religions, and 30 percent are Muslim. Persecution is prevalent in the north. New converts to Christianity are beaten and sometimes killed, while churches are routinely destroyed. Villages keep evangelists out and prevent construction of new churches. Bibles are hard to find in rural areas.