Something A Bit Different  

DustyWidget 60M
4382 posts
5/15/2006 12:05 pm

Last Read:
5/16/2006 5:42 am

Something A Bit Different

Something a bit different Part II

This is a Nigerian's viewpoint on religion. It was written a long time ago but still vaild:

After the death of Jesus, his disciples fearing for their lives scattered around and about far away Europe. The first able congregation ever, assembled to constitute the first community of Christ followers, in other words, the first Christians. They amalgamated in Rome and successfully built the first Church, under the distinguished leadership of Peter. The Church was likewise named after him - Saint Peter’s Cathedral Church, Rome.

This building still stands today in its magnificent prominence in Rome, as one of the most remarkable monuments ever built and it was of course the seat of the Roman Empire.

Surprisingly though, the toil, sweat, blood and tears of the black slave’s labour that built the church were never correctly recorded in the history of the papal seat. History on the other hand, paid glorious attributes to the skills and the endurance of the likes of Michaelangelo and Raphael as great artists not only because of the various incorruptible contributions they made through their arts but also acclaimed them to be the greatest of their time.

They were said to be responsible for all the glowing artefacts that made the building an artistic paradise. It was not acknowledged, however, that it was the black slaves above anyone else who made that structure a reality with their incalculable but involuntary contributions that more often than not resulted in great physical and mental anguish and sometimes even death. It is clear that without them, achieving such an architectural phenomenon that has been withstanding the test of time and is still doing so till today would have been impossible.

A visit to this site would confirm the horrors of the slave experiences. The echoes of the past that reverberate through the walls around one are visible and subtly displayed for everyone to see - (that is if you are able to feel the pulse). If you are unable to feel then you are certainly not able to see.

The Roman Empire spread and sustained the Roman Catholic Mission until Reformation. This was their attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church which resulted in the establishment of the Protestant churches we have all over the world today. The British who colonised this part of the world sold their own version of Christianity to us, the Church of England - and soon the rest followed eg the Methodist, Baptist or any other Presbyterian church.

The system of worship within the community of Christians in our society performed their Christian rites through these methods until recently. We are now witnessing a new era of the new-age Protestants - the Born Again Christians. Their understanding of Christianity is based on the notion that one has to be spiritually ‘born again’ before one can even attempt to follow Christ and practice His doctrines. It is their firm belief that other methods of worship are null and void. The only way to reach God is to become born again and to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour.

The above argument is within the confines of the Christian preaching provided it remains in the church within its members. The argument breaks down, however, when it is taken out of the church and, therefore, out of content to other people with diverse opinions, insisting that their understanding of God is the only salvation there is, to the extent of negating the other person’s sometimes inherent point of view. To them everybody else is a sinner whose soul is in danger.

They seem to forget that there is such a thing as freedom of worship and that God was in Nigeria before the Christian or indeed the Muslim religions invaded our cultural beliefs. All forms of worships then and still lead to God. It was the colonialists’ quest to impose their will and power on the rest of the Africans, when in fact, their sole aim was to cream off the abundant wealth that was endowed by the Creator Himself to us. To be able to do this perfectly well, we were to be relieved of our heritage, swapping it for the Bible, thereby making our own understanding of life a taboo.

The imperialist or the Arabs were no different from the colonialists. They, like the British introduced the Islamic religion to this part of the world through trade and education. Once they had penetrated, they made their intrusion into Africa through what they called the holy war or Jihad. Their prime aim was to capture its people and their territories. In Nigeria, they set out to claim the north down to the sea purposely to impose their form of colonisation.

This formidable aggression swept through the North destroying at will people and property in the name of Allah. They forcibly installed emirs all of whom were sons of Usman Dan Fodio, their spiritual leader at the time.

Through their invasion, they hoped to capture this part of the world and turn it into a Muslim territory directly under the Sharia Law with the people paying homage to Mecca. They would have succeeded in doing this if not for the military might of the Yorubas who halted the invasion thereby confining the captured territories to Ilorin. The result of this invasion is evident in the present-day Ilorin community which shares its cultural heritage with the Hausa/ Fulani.

This marriage of cultures has resulted in the eruption of conflicts which have remained unsolved till today. These conflicts border around the Yoruba people’s insistent claim on their right to rule their own territory while the Sokoto Caliphate has adamantly refused to acknowledge such claims. Though such misunderstandings have not yet resulted into any serious clashes it cannot be said that it will not be a serious problem in the future as long as Ilorin remains a culturally confused state.

History also tells us that Muslims through Mohammedism or Islam perpetuated slavery as a means to an end. It is also believed that the negroids around and about the Middle East are the descendants of those slaves. The act of praying five times a day could easily be explained as a device to safeguard the possible escape of their slaves. The early morning prayer was seen as a method of checking that the slaves were correct in number before allowing them out into the fields. If any slave was missing, there was ample time between the period of the escape and the organisation of a search party to ensure that the runaway slave was brought back before he could disappear to freedom.

The second prayers coincided with the lunch break, another opportunity for the guards to oversee that the number was correct before the afternoon shift during which the slaves did the mundane work. Likewise, the third prayer is designed to check the work and sort out any problematic developments which may have occurred and to find solutions if need be. The last prayer is the final check before the slaves are allowed to go to bed.

Today most countries that operate the full Sharia forms of government exist through the most inflexible and terraneous execution of its laws. Nevertheless, there is nowhere in the world where the Islamic religion prevented colonisation by the West including the Arab world itself. In some respect, the Islamic religion has actually prevented development in the areas where they present themselves. Its strength like Christianity is total domination (but through the Koran) of the minds of its followers without compromising anything.

This is especially the case among the Muslim fundamentalists who viciously maintain their belief of the superiority of their religion. They passionately feel, think and implicitly maintain that a non- Muslim is doomed. To them, there is no substituting - no in between. Violence sometimes results because of simple day-to-day confrontation of normal coexistence which always develops into a major calamity and sometimes war.

Whichever way you look at it, the black man is always at the losing end when, in fact, the African religion respected nature. As Africans, we were in tune with mother nature developing an understanding that foreserved our agricultural harmony. We were definitely not starving. Our community, because of the nature of things worked together to preserve law and order. The deities provided the guidelines for day-to-day living. It was also a method of measuring different seasons of the year, like the yam festival along with the planting seasons of different crops and likewise hunting seasons.

The medical welfare of the people were spiritual and amongst people like the Yorubas, the oracles served as guiding spirits. We understood different cures for different ailments. We were culturally and spiritually self- sufficient but with the introduction of various alien religions into the African society came the claim that our way of life was “an exercise in futility” that can never lead to God (their God of course).

Our God and beliefs were, therefore, branded as paganism - meaning in an English content a member of a group professing any religion other than Christianity. Today, we realise that most of Africa’s political and spiritual problems started with the confusion religion brought which directly affected our economic incompetence.

Indeed, the Christian and Muslim forms of worship have definitely taken over yet, it cannot be denied that the present forms of their worship are not the original forms that were first introduced to Africa. We are now witnessing a new era of spiritualists which come in the form of different sects. Among the Christians, they are separate from the Born Agains. They are also separate from the Muslim fundamentalists. I refer to them as the Spiritualists. They can be found in both the Christian and Muslim communities ie the Celestial, Christ Apostolic, Cherubim and Seraphim etc on the side of the Christians while sects like the Kristlem are a combination of both Christianity and Islam. On the side of the Muslims we have the Sha Marshad, Sheu Kamorudeen, Alade Adua, Sasarudeen, Nawarudeen etc.


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