Opinion: Religion, definition and questionable identity within the sphere of law and power

“pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widow in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world”
James 1:27


Marcus Garvey, the Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur likewise a pan-Africanist described religion thus;

“Religion is one’s opinion and belief in some ethical truth; to be a Christian is to have the religion of Christ and so to be a believer of Mohammed is to be Mohammedan but there are so many religions that every man seems to be a religion of himself. No two persons think alike, even if they outwardly profess the same faith, so we have many religions in Christianity, as we have believers.”

Certain acts and attacks within the human environment are traced to religion. These acts are carried out to sustain an ideology forceful towards dominating certain territories enforcing what is against the holy books.

The deep and effective concept of religion is intertwined therefore certain belief are assumed to be true discarding certain findings. The description of an unbiased treatment among religious groups is clearly evident by Garvin as a tool of freedom, truth and opinion without castigation among one another.

Misconceptions between the Christian community and its neighbours create a controversial interference between the government and individuals of different religion and personae over its patronage of political leaders and prominent men within their domain of worship for spiritual assistance. Amidst these events, we have negatively diverted our energy to the arena of worship and religious institution discarding their identity of flesh and blood made by a Supreme being unseen.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s termination of Mr Jim Obazee appointment as the executive secretary of the Financial Regulatory Council of Nigeria for failing to implement the directive of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment over the suspension of regulating the corporate governance code 2016 raised an uproar from diverse pole of living habitats in Nigeria, Clerics and religious organisation observed the decision as a crude act against the stability of religion likewise the masses could not turn its ears away, decrying the participation of religious leaders in the political affairs of the country, a responsibility that excludes their primary motive for spiritual edification and winning of souls to God for eternity.

Act No 6,2011 of Financial Regulatory Council of Nigeria entails that a maximum period of 20 years was placed on the tenure of the heads of registered churches, mosques and civil society organisation. This led to the resignation of a church leader.

The upsurge of a divided society is not far from our domain: there are no prosecutions of persons carrying out incessant killings in the name of doctrines.  If religious institutions neglect their role in the society, discarding the poor to accommodate the elite based on wealth and position, the essence of worship would be disannulled. Interestingly, this is the trend within the African society.
This is beyond the argument of saint or sinners, purity and filthiness, clean and unclean within the realm of our beliefs. Our sermons are questioned, our integrity, not upheld when we see individuals extort money and valuables for spiritual assistance that is uncertain. This goes against the standard God implemented for those who follow him.
Stories have stirred controversy within the house of worship. The quest to understand what religion portrays by our belief is misconstrued when individuals patronise the spiritual leaders for miracle discarding the principle that has been written.
Beyond the supernatural success and miracle that attract individuals to participate within this atmosphere, religion should be redefined and critically dissected by our beliefs and observation without castigating one another.
The motive to attain eternity when we crossover to the cold world of death should be acted upon in our daily lives. Instead, we discard its necessity by rejecting the beauty of salvation, depriving us of the benefit we attain if we believe and accept.
A quest to retain our conscience is disrupted when our aims are built around material possession over our beliefs. At this moment, individuals defile their conscience for cars and luxury by diabolic means in the name of material possession.
Do we remember the poor and the needy, who are out there with nothing,  yet we discard these to fulfil the requirement of the noble.

Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

Ogunniyi Abayomi is a social commentator, poet and essayist and his works have been published in foreign and national journals like Tuck Magazine in Canada.

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