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May 14 2013 | LIBREVILLE, GABON

Religions and civil society against "ritual crimes"

Sant'Egidio took part in the march organized by the Church of Gabon against such violent practices of magic origin who still claim victims, especially among children.

 
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The Community of Sant'Egidio in Libreville has accepted -with enthusiasm and commitment- the invitation of the Catholic Church of Gabon to participate on 11 May in a march to raise awareness in the people and the authorities on so-called ritual crimes. The spread of these acts of violence raise concern and social alarm in the country. The ritual crimes use human sacrifices (often the victims are children) to withdraw blood or organs from victims to be used in "magic" rituals in the belief that they can obtain economic or other sort of benefits. 


This is not a phenomenon of the past. Unfortunately, only in 2011 at least 62 people (28 children, 20 women and 14 men) lost their lives, and the practice continues. For this reason, the Archbishop of Libreville, Bishop Basil, and the other bishops, decided to make a clear sign in favor of a culture of life. The Bishops' Conference asked everyone to "participate in the march en masse in an atmosphere of fervent prayer, as an expression of our indignation and our condemnation of these shameful and infamous crimes. A prolonged silence cannot become but an accomplice and guilty. " In the march participated by 4,000 people circa from associations, Christian communities, and also a lot of ordinary people and some families of the victims were present. At the head of the procession were the archbishop, the imam, the Protestant pastor and the First lady. The parade ended in front of the palace of the President of the Republic where a memorandum on ritual crimes was delivered by the Archbishop directly to the hands of President Ali Bongo Ondimba. The latter greeted the marchers and reassured his commitment to struggle against such cruel crimes and to eradicate them from culture of the country.


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