There is hardly any Nigerian out there who did not have a religion imposed on him/her as a kid. I mean, growing up in Nigeria, you probably had to follow either dad or mum to church or mosque every Friday or Sunday (or in my case, occasionally). There is any Nigerian who did not have religion forced down his/her throat. I’m not talking about one’s teenage years now, no. I’m referring to those days when we were in primary school having to follow mum to one of the numerous deliverance sessions or special “ikores” in church right after school. Even families where the parents practised different religions, you just had no choice but to pick one.
Growing up, father hardly ever went to church so Sunday mornings were spent watching cartoons or, most of the time, washing my school uniform in preparation for school on Monday. On a few occasions, we held “services” at home where we clapped and murmured something inaudible for a few minutes and then prayed for even fewer minutes. On the few occasions we actually did go to church, we went late and left early. The point I’m trying to make here is that even though we rarely ever attended church, just like every other normal Nigerian, our religion was not a choice, we were born into it.
A friend of mine says that the problem with mankind is that everyone thinks his opinion is the best, in this case, his religion. An average Christian automatically thinks every other person who is not a Christian is doomed to eternal damnation – hell – I mean, even an average “Deeper Lifer” believes that girls who wear trousers are on a one way path to hell, much less a “filthy” unbeliever. We have Islamic extremists all over the world killing for their “god”. As at December 2011, churches were been bombed in hundreds at the northern side of Nigeria as Christians were being killed by the Islamic sect Boko Haram.
Let us be realistic though, I do not understand how I, who was born into a Christian family and has been a Christian for the past twenty years of my life would convert to any other religion after my Christianity has been tested and trusted. What we do not understand however, is that a twenty-something Indian, who has been a Buddhist all his life, has prayed and gotten answers to his prayers, his ill sister was healed of malaria by Buddha, should convert to your own religion just because you tell him that your god does the same thing for you what his does for him, doesn’t that seem a bit, I don’t know, stupid?
A friend once quoted a line out of a movie that goes “If God was one, why so many religions?” and another friend replied saying “But if Ife was one, why are there so many routes leading to it?”.
That is exactly what my point is, what if all these religions are just different outlets to one God? Like, how a transformer powers a whole street through several outlets or a generator to a house through several sockets. What if God, knowing He created us all different not to think in the same pattern, decided to create several ways by which one could worship Him? I mean, we have all heard stories that most of the celebrated dates in Christianity are actually pagan worship days, how Sunday was the day the Greeks worshipped ancient sungods. How Christmas was a day pagans celebrated their sex festival (both hetero & homosexual sex). Even the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a faction of Christianity do not believe in Hell!
Or what if, just what if, the greatest story ever told, was a lie.