If only humans can apply on education, half the zeal they apply on religion, the world would be a peaceful place. – Asimi Samuel O. (2015)
I am scared of dying unfulfilled,
I am scared of imposing my views on others,
But above all,
I am scared of defining ‘religion’.
I say this not because it’s beyond my scope of understanding, but for the fact that the word has been bastardized in different quarters.
Recent happenings across the country have indicated that our journey to attain a more united and cohesive Nigeria is a very tough one. These happenings remind us of a threat trying to pull the pegs that were fastened to ensure ‘one Nigeria’. Individuals now hide under the guise of religion to uphold barbarism, corruption and other evil acts.
These parochial minded individuals who basically know little about their various faiths are quick to display extremism in the name of fighting against ‘blasphemy’. Having carefully observed the use of blasphemy, I have come to a conclusion that more often than not, those who flaunt this word really have no idea of the tenets of their various religions. These ignorant individuals waste no time in transforming into savages once they feel their god has been offended.
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These folks obviously don’t have the cranium capacity to persuasively convince others to key into their faith and like the Kenyan proverb; “A man who uses force is afraid of reasoning”, they quickly resort to force.
But we can’t write away ‘faith’ because of the actions of a few miscreants. And I say this to buttress the very importance of faith in our world today. Without God humans will not be crawling over the face of the earth and it is necessary we understand this, worship him in truth and in spirit. Like other issues, there are different opinions and views about religion. We have heard tales of individuals converting from one faith to another under different circumstances. And as such, different religions attempt to outline why they are more authentic than others in moves aimed at winning over non-members. These different opinions will still remain and the best we can do is respect those of others we don’t believe.
Sadly, groups of power wielding individuals have helped maintain the scary figures of illiterates who are only useful to them every four years. The result of this is the display of ignorance across religious and tribal lines which are a very big threat to freedom of speech.
The solution to this is Knowledge!
If members of various religions are well grounded in the teachings of their faith, alongside having a decent education, acts of barbarism in the name of religion will be brought to a low. In this vein, religious leaders and literates in the society are obliged to help propagate the message of religious tolerance.
May God heal our land.
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