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Bolivian cult that reveres human skulls holds rite to wrap up Catholic festival honoring dead

Members of a Bolivian cult that reveres human skulls have held a rite to close out a Roman Catholic religious festival in honor of the dead.

Followers believe skulls have miraculous powers and they carried about 300 skulls to a chapel in a cemetery in La Paz on Thursday.

Believers say the skulls grant them favors — from finding a job to helping their favorite soccer team win.

Although the cult is rejected by the Catholic Church, it has quickly gained followers. They pay homage to their skulls by offering them music, prayer and food.

Bolivia's archbishop decried the practice five years ago, saying it distorts the Catholic faith.

Skulls were often conserved as trophies during pre-Hispanic times and used in rituals to symbolize life and death.