Religion is one of African peoples’ greatest problems

It’s fascinating how we moved from traditional African religion to what today we call religion, largely influenced by the west.

In Summary
  • I’m a Christian and used to be a backslider, but now I’m back on track and couldn’t be happier.
  • Younger generation turned off by Scandals, believe they can worship anywhere. Many stream services on their phones.

Religion, to some extent, is one Africa’s biggest problems, I believe. 

I am not going to delve into the ‘are you religious or spiritual?’ conversation.  

I believe, however, you can all agree religion is one of the most sensitive issues that most of us avoid.

It is fascinating how I always learn something new about how we moved from our traditional African religion to what we know today as religion, which was largely influenced by the West.  

My focus is, of course, Christianity. 

Before going further, I admit I am Christian, recently an ardent churchgoer who started backsliding.  

Some time back, I wrote of how I started backsliding, but I am happy that is no longer the case. I am back on track and my spiritual self couldn’t be happier.  

Recently, I attended a get together party of colleagues from the African region and a debate ensued about how many African churches have turned holy places to a money-minting business.  

“The easiest way to get a church up and running as a business in Africa is to get through to women. Once you have them, you have their families,” one fellow said.  

I then asked myself, are women, especially mothers, that gullible? 

Feel free to agree to disagree. 

“I stopped going to church when my mother became a religious prostitute,” another fellow said.  

This term took me by surprise.  

I then asked him what he meant by ‘religious prostitute’. 

“This is anyone who jumps from one church and or religion to another and is drawn into beliefs that are absurd. My mother is the type of person who will speak of how her people are coming for her and will pay any amount to be prayed for, or better yet, receive a miracle,” he said.  

“She moved from Christianity to Islam to even going to see spiritualists, all while spending a lot of money and until today, I have never seen the fruits of all that piety and cash.

He said one day his mother one day sent him with money to give a pastor in the church where she used to enjoy fellowship. 

Apparently, the pastor was involved in a scandal of asking women for sexual favours in return for divine intervention. 

I related with him to some extent because I have had a first-hand encounter with one of my aunties who jumped from one church to another.  

The kind of money she would donate to these numerous holy places would drive my uncle insane and he would really get worried.  

I had a chance to chat with my mum and I told her of the new word I had learnt and, believe or not, she agreed with the gentleman’s sentiments. 

My mother believes in just finding one church and committing yourself to worship in that same church. That is how she raised us. 

Now back to the discussion with colleagues, I learnt that one of the guys at the table, ‘conducted research’ on why young people prefer streaming a church service to actually going to a physical church and attending services.

Apparently, the younger generation today has lost interest in worshipping in church and has faith they can worship from anywhere. Setting foot in a church is not necessary, they say.

“Most pastors cannot be trusted and, frankly speaking even though my mother brought me up a certain way, I can never believe in the teachings a religious leader shares on the pulpit today,” one guy said.  

“That is true. I cannot stand going to church nowadays as well. I would rather connect with my God and worship from the comfort of my home,” another lady said.  

“I would even rather listen to recorded scriptures and read the Holy Book alone but not set foot in a church.” 

I have a few friends who do not fancy sitting in church through an entire service and would rather just do things differently, even though they went through the African upbringing that involved going to church.

Regardless, I respect that. 

I think before Western influence, the idea I had of African religious history, we were just okay the way we were.  

Post the influence, I believe we will always be having arguments and never meeting on common ground.  

The neutral ground we can at least adhere to is respecting everyone’s point of view, thus avoiding any backlash from any party.  

Whether religious or spiritual, everyone has their own faith and belief.  

This is one of the discussions that never has an ending and we can go on and on but as I said, religion is one of Africa’s biggest problems.  

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