Sean Sanni is a reporter for Reuters.

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Nigerian Priest Saves Pre-Christian Artifacts From Destruction

by Sean Sanni, Reuters 12-01-2021

Rev. Paul Obayi sits amid several artifacts that he recovered from various shrines and stored in his museum in Nsukka, Enugu Nigeria. Sept. 29, 2021. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja

A Roman Catholic priest is collecting and saving hundreds of traditional pre-Christian religious artifacts in southeast Nigeria that new converts to Christianity had planned to burn.

The collection includes carvings of pagan deities and masks, some of them more than a century old and considered central to the pre-Christian religion of the Igbo people, who traditionally believed them to be sacred and to have supernatural powers.