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Nigerian Church: "Lending" to Nations?

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By Joseph Rotimi (11-07-2016)

For reasons that are only obvious to a popular church leader, Nigeria is currently awash with so much wealth (church wealth to be exact) that it is lending to other nations. At least that is what the general overseer of the RCCG (Redeemed Christian Church of God) was recently alleged to have insinuated. There was also a self-satisfied claim that the church has managed to establish itself in over 190 countries across the planet. In trying to explain what such spreading prosperity entails in concrete terms, the "man of God" said "…We are not poor because we are already in the business of lending to nations. We are buying churches and establishing institutions in all these countries.” Well, congratulations sir, this is no mean feat.

However, beyond the pall of impressive numbers and self-adulation lies the simmering, palpable poverty, and lack of national direction that has become the bane of the Nigerian state. Instead of an awakened onslaught to change things, this state of affairs has been deliberately accompanied by ecclesiastical condescension and scripture-induced somnambulism that encourages the average citizen to suffer peacefully.

Apart from the establishment of churches, which institutions have been established in addition to the houses of worship? Have the churches established world-class hospitals, schools, research centers, agricultural communes or libraries? Of what benefit, in concrete terms, are religious organizations in the country except for the display of exclusive doctrinal mosaics and the encouragement of citizens to live vicariously within the ambience of church rather than personal wealth.

The first churches were not established to save the souls of Africans as popularly believed. Churches; usually accompanied with schools were established to plant the seeds of perpetual influence of the colonizers on the mental and spiritual psyche of the colonized. The deft imposition led to self-alienation, so that, from cradle to grave, we are all trying to please our masters or look like them.

After a couple of centuries, the mission of "saving our souls" by the colonizers is accomplished and the whole continent is awash with their clones. We have mastered the trade so completely that Nigerians and other Africans are now "planting" churches in western nations - a great achievement. But these achievements are simple pacifiers that have failed to turn our five loaves and two fish into food baskets to feed our teeming millions.

At the highest level of governance in Nigeria, Moslem, Christian clerics, and political leaders have a common goal. They try to keep the rest of us in perpetual ignorance; teaching us to be happy with our miserable states while hoping for a better hereafter. But amidst the turmoil of our lives, we can see that the hereafter of these leaders is already here by the way they live.

Until we begin to see the futility of looking towards the Middle East or the West for our salvation and realize that the solution to our problems lies with us, the masturbatory euphoria of more buildings and numbers would continue to be a pathetic imitation of the real thing.

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