Religion in Nigeria: Priggish or burlesque?
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Religion in Nigeria: Priggish or burlesque?

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By Adetola Ogunsola . . .

“If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god” – Napoleon Bonaparte.

I was a die-hard worshiper of God until I became inquisitive about the activities of our religious leaders, their workers and the church at large.

They made us feel it is an unforgivable sin to ask questions as they are the mouth piece of the Almighty.

But deep down, I thought an organisation (religious or non-religious) that only milks the shaky economy is only interested in her selfish well-being, as they never follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

When few individuals carve out a comfort zone in an hostile environment, the “seal team eight” will be made real with or without proselytize.

Ironically, they’ll say “power is my mistress, I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone take her away from me.” thus, bringing in the known evil politicians as “honorary pastors” in their ministries and justifying the run-of-the-mill with epistles from their fogy, making the gullible swallow it hook, line and sinker.

Growing up from a peasant family in one of the most popular Pentecostal church in south western Nigeria, individually, we were made to pay through our noses towards the establishment of a “world class university.” You must feel obliged to pay flat out with the “curse like prayer” that will be placed on you before the project envelope is handed to you.

It was finally established and the fees for members and non members was pegged at N500,000 as at 2007.

Quite unfortunate that 90% of the church’s population are peasants who cannot afford such bogus amount, thus, paving way for most of those who never contributed a dime towards erecting a building block of the school.

I felt a great relief after I left the church to a better Pentecostal church I presumed, not knowing it was the same old wine in new bottle.

Religious leaders invariably wine and dine with political leaders who starve public workers and tax payers of their entitlements while setting double standards.

Read also: Buhari’s Cockroach Ride

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! (Psalm 1:1)

From a layman’s point of view, I strongly feel the church should invest ONLY in productive projects to make the economy, and also create employment rather than build coliseums that have little effect on the economy (religious tourism) or schools that will be attended by children of partial bourgeoisie who will in turn become unemployed.

Liberation in sight? Not when religion is still the only thing keeping the poor from seeing the truth.

According to a commentator on nairaland, “Religion is a scam, the greatest scam ever. They use two powerful human emotions to control humans; Hope and fear”

He went further to explain;

“Hope as exemplified by Heaven/Paradise (a utopia for people who adhere strictly to the tenets and dogmas)

Fear as exemplified by Hell (a place of unimaginable eternal torment for people who refuse to adhere to their tenets and dogmas).

When I was about giving up on my faith, I remembered the Pope’s US visit.

The Pope’s US visit was a triumph in upholding Christ teachings, if one thing, it teaches us that you don’t need a private jet nor the most expensive carrier to ride in to do God’s work. The church was never for profit making! Helping the poor and weak was the number two mission, the first is saving souls.

One would have thought Britain will be in ruins now after they banned a Nigerian pastor from entering the country due to the inhumane way he syphoned money from innocent members in the country.

Due to the fear inculcated in me, I would have reasoned beyond doubt that dechristianization of France during the French revolution would made the nation to be studied in books, thus, wiped from the map of the world.

Alas! The former and latter were and are still part of the most industrialized nations of the world.

In Nigeria, the religious leaders are so insensitive to the sufferings of the populace, they still talk the gullible into funding their luxurious lifestyle. This is echoed in Napoleon’s quote;

“How can one have order in a state without religion? Society cannot exist without inequality of fortunes and inequalities of fortune cannot exist without religion. How can a man dying from hunger sit next to a man who is belching from overeating, unless there is an authority that says “God wills it so.”

The Nigerians political class are so well groomed in Napoleonic teachings one of which spiels;

“I am nothing. I was a Mohammedan in Egypt, I shall be a Catholic here in France, and were I to rule a nation of Jew, I would rebuild Solomon’s temple.”

The day revolution comes violently to Nigeria’s church, those selling religion might be shown the guillotine.

In my last words, I’m still a believer and a Christian.

“Only the man who lives in the laws of God is free” – Abd-Ru-Shin

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