You won’t need to be an Economist or Academic of any sort to see this, just wander round the town, pick any town randomly, the evidence is overwhelmingly choking – choking is the word as it really captures the full extent of impact religion has on citizens today.
What is going on regarding religion in Nigeria today is Economics in its entirety. Christianity for example in Nigeria is a free market – unregulated free from government control. Pastors/Reverend/Daddy or whatever titles they choose for themselves are completely free to operate anywhere they wanted. However, the outcry that we have in the country today was not because people are against free market it is just that free market of religion is equal to disaster, people are choking out of religion been imposed on them daily. The imposition of religion especially christianity is unbelievably contradicting to what they preach and yet they don’t see it or maybe they did but blinded by the greed.
I have watched christianity changing so much to something I could neither understand nor cared to. I am all for change as without it the world will keep changing and moved on without us. However, we need to talk about christianity and see it right from amongst us, see how much it has affected our daily lives in a lot of not very nice ways – to put it mildly.
One day I sat at the church revival and I heard the preacher talking about the witches and how they were the enemies and how they had this big meeting place in the middle of the night under a big Iroko tree to decide on who else to use for sacrifices. You see, when you are in the church especially during sermons, you could not talk nor ask questions, and sometimes you could not walk out without risking people thinking you are possessed. This particular day, the pastor’s wild imagination took the best of him. First of all the description of witches meetings he described only existed in his head, you know like Harry Potter‘s style but thank God that JK Rowling has shown the world that we could put our wild imagination to good use. Secondly I thought he was mad for thinking everyone in the congregation believed him – I did not. And here’s why – you are only labelled a witch if unfortunate things happened to you in Nigeria, you know disabled of all sorts, mentally ill, and the fact that my mother was once a witch so I knew this.
I could go on and on about how christianity has profoundly changed in Nigeria today, most youths are confused, they changed churches in search for the perfect one that will point them to the right direction to heaven, the ones that preach about shortcut to abundance richness. Most of our youths are incapable of making a coherent argument without dragging God and bible into it. They are untaxed so let’s face it, it is a viable business.
We all talked amongst ourselves in our places of work, at home and even in churches how contradictory the pastors are, we strive to follow what they say but their livelihood is completely different. We yarned and wondered what can we do?