Nigeria's bishops fear embracing gay marriage will make them lose their culture of 'self-love'.
The group of religious leaders have sent a statement to the Vatican's news agency saying: 'It is deeply disappointing that Nigeria is blessed by an abundance of resources that do not reflect the lives of its children.'
The bishops expressed concern about 'the continuous attempts by foreign agencies to introduce unhealthy values in our society in their campaigns for abortion, condom distribution and promotion of homosexual unions'.
'We condemn these actions. We launch an appeal to the good people of Nigeria so that they also reject these attempts, otherwise we risk losing our faith, our identity and our culture of self-love.'
In recent months the Nigerian government has increased its anti-gay legislation, antagonizing foreign diplomats as much as its LGBT citizens.
In July, Nigeria's Foreign Ministry denied the country would allow diplomats with same-sex spouses to do their job in the country. The week before, Foreign Affairs Minister Olugbenga Ashiru assured: 'If we have diplomats with same sex spouses posted to Nigeria, we have no choice but to accredit them accordingly because they come from countries where such law is in place.’ The Foreign Ministry later said Ashiru's words were misinterpreted and the country would extend it's legal ban on homosexuality to foreigners.
In May this year, Nigeria's House of Representatives passed a 'Jail All The Gays' law that banned same-sex marriage, outlaws anyone from forming organizations supporting gay rights and sets up prison terms of up to 14 years.
The language used by Nigerian bishops and government officials reflects the belief in the majority of Nigerian society in believing homosexuality is 'unnatural'.
This weekend Nigerian 'scientist' Chibuihem Amalaha used simple experiments using magnets to demonstrate that same-sex attractions are 'wrong'.
Amalaha incorrectly used lion mating behavior as another example of how same-sex behavior is 'unnatural,' even though scientists have observed same sex attraction in hundreds of species - including lions.