Sacred pythons and voodoo in Benin

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Benin is the birthplace of voodoo which - as a result of slavery - later reached distant lands such as Haiti and Brazil.

To many, voodoo connotes a dark religion or black magic. But in the small West African nation, voodoo is an official religion that is followed by nearly half the population. The country even has a Voodoo Day, which is a public holiday.

A visit to Benin last November by Pope Benedict XVI witnessed a huge turnout of followers.

And as the BBC Africa's Laeila Adjovi reports from Ouidah - Benin's voodoo capital - it is not uncommon to see Christianity, Islam and voodoo being practiced side by side.

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