NEW YORK (JTA) — A voodoo priest in Benin performed ritual sacrifices and offered prayers for an end to the conflict in Gaza, according to reports.
High priest Dah Aligbonon slaughtered a rooster as an offering to the deities and ancestors, and cast cowry shells to divine the future at the peace ceremony held at a festival in the town of Abomey on National Voodoo Day, Reuters reported.
"All wars, which we deplore, have their origin for the most part in religious misunderstandings," Aligbonon was quoted as saying by Reuters.
He also called on higher powers to put an end to wars in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The ceremony came in the wake of massive protests against Israel’s operation in Gaza in many African capitals, as well as in neighboring Nigeria in the village of Kono.
Aligbonon also extrapolated an exhortation to coexist from the situation in the Middle East.
"If there is no tolerance, religious hatred will spawn what is happening today in Palestine, where dozens of infants and innocents are paying for the intolerance of their parents," he told Reuters.
The divination from the cowry shells provided a prediction for the coming year that urged Benin and the rest of the world to abandon hate and pride in favor of unity and tolerance.