Bishops warn of 'miracle healers' and 'false prophets'
Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "Beware of false prophets. Some of these use the pulpit and television to deceive the people of God", warned Msgr. David Ajang, Bishop of Lafia, in his homily on Sunday November 13, warning the faithful against impostors who carry out alleged miracles and announce false prophecies to deceive the children of God.
Several of these come in the form of "healers" who also use word of mouth among people to attract people. "We are too hasty in sharing the problems with our friends that lead us to these people", underlines Msgr. Ajang who asks the faithful to act rationally in the light of the true Christian faith: "If you have a problem, think critically before seeking solutions. If you are sick, go to the hospital. Too many people have lost their lives by refusing to do what is right, so we must be wise and intelligent to make the right decisions".
Another Nigerian bishop also recently warned the faithful to be careful of alleged "miracle healers" who are also present within the Catholic Church. "It is very sad that the so-called private or personal 'Ministers of Healing' and 'Ministers of Worship' are proliferating in the Catholic Church in Nigeria", said Msgr. Felix Femi Ajakaye, Bishop of Ekiti in his homily on the second day of the Nigerian Pastoral Congress. "These ministers are introducing "non-Orthodox practices" into the liturgy of the Catholic Church", says the Bishop - helping to spread a materialistic mentality, starting with the deviation of the pastoral purposes and the spiritual significance of the collections made in the country's parishes".
Nigeria, known for the proliferation of churches, tolerates all kinds of religious practices with little or no regulation in place.
Many Nigerian pastors have been accused of deviating from their true calling and are focusing more on expanding their personal ministry, influence and wealth.
Furthermore, "traditional healers" use a syncretic approach as a marketing strategy to promote traditional medicine and magic under the brand name of "Christian Healing Homes". Traditional religion is transformed into a belief system that "speaks the languages" of revealed religions in order to have a strong hold on the faithful including Catholics who do not always have the ability to distinguish between faith and superstition.