Religion is characteristic of human beings. It is the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially in a personal God or gods; an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods. Such belief system usually has large numbers of followers and a set of rules that must be followed, and is organized primarily for religious purposes – involving devotional and ritual observances to the moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. It must not be used as a tool for repression, oppression, or exploitation.
Many Nigerians hold religious beliefs so passionately that it reflects in a series of ritualized actions which have diminishing impact on the society.
It is a known fact that the working class, which comprises those engaged in manual labour occupation and industrial work form a larger percentage of religious believers/worshippers. This class of people rely on their income upon earnings from salaried or waged labour. Yet, many prefer to spend a significant part of working hours in religious houses. The workforce which ought to organise and protest the harsh economic challenges confronting the masses has become tacit. Religion most times, teaches against revolting. Maladministration by a bad government at any given time, and the continuing dominance by the ruling class is the will of God! The quality of life of people is destroyed, but able-bodied humans are instructed to ‘watch and pray’.
A quick look at the two most practised religions in this country…
1.) Islam, the world’s second-largest religion is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion which teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, and unique. Muslims believe that there is only one God (Allah) and that Muhammad is a messenger of God.
2.) Christianity, an equally monotheistic Abrahamic religion is based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
Both Muhammad and Jesus, are associated to movements which were dedicated to carrying out a revolution. They can be referred to, as Revolutionaries in that both advocated the abolition of institutions/organizations. While the former was combative, the latter was a Pacifist.
However, today’s worshippers seem not to understand the need to unite and fight any abuse of their rights to life, liberty, and property. It’s noteworthy that a revolution is justified, whenever government betrays the purpose for which it rules the people. One can allude to the exploitative tendencies in religious leaders, which reflect in their demeanour as they deliberately intimidate and repress followers with erroneous teachings that have only led to a war of opinions. The principle for teaching/preaching is to magnify relationships, but religion merchants have turned pro-capitalists.
Faith has received a strange definition; it has become confidence and trust in the statement of the religious leader and the living reception of doctrinal belief in the understanding he has of God’s vision. Faith is now a physiological force, and no longer attributed to spiritual strength or power. Piety towards a Supreme being has been exchanged for apprehension of danger, and fear of the religious leader’s reaction to the believer’s activity. Many workers no longer have confidence in making efforts that yield fulfilment.
They are taught to rather pray and fast, while their pockets get emptied into the treasury of religious organizations. These offerings are contributed towards the building of magnificent structures to the glory of organization heads. This is in addition to the crumbs that fall from the sleeves of tyrants and oppressors within the ruling class into the barns of these religious merchants. Such profits are the rewards they get for ‘doing the work of God’. They live largely and acquire very expensive possessions. While those who toil to earn wages and salaries receive vain promises of reward in heaven that’s prepared for obedient followers of organized religion. They live lives that can not impact economic development and growth.
The state of our nation calls for a revolution; one which is opposed to war or any kind of violence. We must rise against the oppressive power of the ruling class… against unemployment and low pay. We must rise against the incompetence of this government; against a divisive and corrupt leadership; against nepotism and impunity.
We must unite and fight!!!✊