NIGERIAN RELIGION: THE HUSTLE

Friday, November 4, 2011

I know it has been far too long since I have written here, but, I needed a break from Nigeria and Nigerian issues to focus on other things. This was essential, in my opinion, to eventually look at things with "fresh eyes" as one would say.

I continue to have many thoughts about Nigeria and hope to share them over the months to come. Until then, please view the following short piece "Nigerian Fake Pastors and Church Business Exposed". It is voiced by Seyi Rhodes and as the title indicates, it is bound to be an explosive topic.

Religion is a sensitive topic and as history shows, it has been the cause of war and bloodshed. From the Christian crusades to the current fight against Islamic extremists, religious belief has a hand in many a conflict. And in Nigeria, that is unfortunately evident in Jos, Plateau state, where religion frequently combines with poverty and a fight over resources to cause the deaths of men, women and children, both Christian and Muslim. Then of course, there is Boko Haram, a group that claims western education is evil and apparently wants Islamic sharia law for the entire country. Thankfully, religion has also brought great solace and grace to  people for generations, but sadly, like anything else, it can and has been bastardized by some.

Sticking to Nigeria, there are churches and mosques on almost every corner. In a country where poverty is high, the saying that religion is the opiate of the people, has never been truer. Some sadly see religion as a business and have created churches and mosques to make themselves rich. Mega churches preach the word of wealth to congregations that see pastors in flashy cars and aspire for the same. I for one, am suspicious of such outfits but understand that what works for me may not work for others and since people have a right to practice their religion (or not practice at all) as they please, I generally avoid the topic of the religion hustle.

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