Editor’s note: In most parts of Africa, especially Nigeria, people perpetrate evils on daily basis under the guise of religion. Most religious leaders have subjected their members of congregation to hardships while at the extreme, some so-called men of God kill people for rituals at will.
In this article sent to NAIJ.com, a Lagos-based journalist, Muhammed Subair, explains why most Nigerians are only religious but far from knowing God.
That there is a huge interaction between morality and religion is not a subject of contention. While religion needs to preach and exhibits morals to gain acceptance, an individual does not necessarily need to be religious before being considered a moral being.
On the other hand, of all religions in the world, Islam and Christianity enjoy patronage the most, even than the indigenous religion, a reality which explains the proliferations of houses of worship where adherents of the two religions spend quality time to communicate with God.
In truth, Nigerians are in all ways religious. But in spite of this religiosity, there is collapse in societal value, individual sanity with an apparent bankruptcy in the spiritual life of many individuals while religious leaders are untroubled with the trend as they are lost in the ocean of the world as many of these inhuman acts are often times perpetrated by them.
Till date, Nigeria’s military are still in the battle to liberate the soul of the Northeast region from the captivity of the militant group, Boko Haram, whose target are places of worship and innocent Nigerians while the abducted school girls in Chibok, Borno state lives on in terrorists’ enclave.
In our socio-religious history, Nigeria as a multi-religious entity has recorded series of unpleasant stories of religious crisis, no thanks to the irrational and morally deficit religionists and political leaders and sycophants who perpetrate evils and overheat the polity with unguarded and impious utterances.
Why is this so? When God of religion had in simple and understandable manners handed down in the scriptures earthly guidelines for both the shepherd and the flocks but unfortunately, they heed not.
However, the consequences of this heedlessness are the religious killings and destructions of properties with ungodly utterances and attitudes by religious leaders which they manifest even while on the altars.
Gladly, God has established His omnipresence attribute for those that seek His presence through His words. But with an unmatched rhetoric of the ministers of God, followers were made to know that God lives in their individual hearts.
But, if God truly lives in the hearts of His creatures and He enjoins nothing but goodness, then, what is responsible for man injustice to man, terrorism, moral degradation, ritual and religious killings?
On religious exploitation and ritualism by anointed men of God, instances of viciousness and spiritual imprisonment of souls of the congregation flourish in our various societies.
Indeed, a German philosopher, Karl Heinrich Marx was absolutely right when he described religion as being exploitative and as a tool of slavery and mass destruction.
Although by design, religion was meant to soothe the ailing hearts and provide spiritual guidance for humanity. But rather for the achievement of this function, some men of God exploit the compassionate nature of religion against the adherents of religion.
But in actual fact, has religion not been used as a tool for mass destruction by the self-serving evil minded men of God?
The murder of a 38 year old widow, Oluwakemi Afolabi was an attestation to the above assertion.
On the 19th of March, residents of Ojodu Berger in Lagos, Nigeria were greeted with the gruesome murder of Oluwakemi Afolabi, a mother of three children by a Muslim cleric, Alfa Taofeek Hassan.
Alfa Taofeek not only murdered Oluwakemi, he dismembered her body, removed the vital organs for rituals.
Of course, the killing of Oluwakemi was one out of many religious evil orchestrated by the so-called men of God.
At the dawn of 2016, in Enugu state, Nigeria, it was a shocking discovery of the bodies of three men buried in shallow grave under the foundation of a popular worship centre along Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway by the presiding pastor who had since been arrested by the police.
Visibly, in a quest for fame, riches and spiritual powers, men of God engage in Satanism. They give prominence to earthly opulence over eternal salvation.
Above all, they engage in all sorts of unthinkable rituals to attract worshippers to their place of worship that one wonders, if God truly lives in their hearts.
Worshippers were made to understand through the scriptures that blessed are the honourables for theirs is the kingdom of God.
But who are these honourables that have been so honoured by the scriptures?
Could they be the class of present day politicians who seek political powers and authority for their selfish good?
No, they are not because to them, being in control of earthly kingdom outweighs the privilege of making the kingdom of God.
The Honourables are those that are virtuous both in means and deeds. They are at all time conscious of God with only one objective in mind; to be enlisted among the occupants of the hereafter.
However, it is suffice that elected office holders has the prefix “honourable” to their names, but, how honourable the country’s public office holders are in honouring the oaths of office of being just, truthful and committed to the service of their father land remains a question of time.
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Certainly, God is dead to the hearts of those leaders who amass wealth to the detriment of the populace. God is dead in the hearts of world leaders who use religion as an instrument of war and tool to oppress humanity.
He is also dead in the hearts of those men of God that seek satanic means to preaching the gospel of God; He is dead in the hearts of followers that are heedless to the dictate of their leaders.
So, where lies the solution to these oppression? The solution lies with the scriptures as both Islam and Christianity have clearly established the scriptural requirements for a harmonious society.
There is an urgent need for adherents of Islam and Christianity to bridge the gap between the two religions. They should be tolerant of each other; learn to cope with their differences and see themselves as one under God.
For those men of God that are this worldly, they should seek and promote less of worldly possessions and adopt the scriptures as a daily guidebook and seek God and not where God lives doing this, will keep God alive in their hearts.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that the Christian Association of Nigeria on Friday, March 17, said it would not investigate allegation of misconduct against the founder of Omega Fire Ministries Apostle Johnson Suleman.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of NAIJ.com.
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