Sunday, July 10, 2011

An interesting insight on Nigerian Christianity

In the last few years Nigeria has witnessed a dramatic upsurge of apparent fundamentalism in Christian religious practice.

People are turning away from the orthodox churches and they are rushing to the Pentecostal churches in their millions.

The rush began with young people who were weaned on a new gospel of prosperity and miracles in college campuses.

When the new army of Pentecostal "born agains" graduated and were launched into society, the mainstream churches were caught napping; before they could feel the force of what had hit them, their former members were clapping and gyrating and sweating in new congregations.

The Pentecostal church has become a movement that is sweeping across the nation, catching both Christians and Muslims.

Rituals are no longer performed with goats and cockerels but with tithes and American dollar offeringsā€¯

It claims to be the fastest-growing religious sect in Nigeria; all others are merely trying out strategies to halt the force.

Yet, the secret of the Pentecostal leaders' success was apparently simple enough: They studied the Nigerian.

The average Nigerian has a strong belief in destiny.

They hold it that however hard or lazily one may work, the will of the gods, as pre-destined, will come to pass in their life.

They do not take responsibility for anything - not even for the inevitable road accident when they drive drunk, nor for exam failure resulting from truancy in class.

Therefore they believe that they must appease the gods at all times.

In the past, the appeasement was to the family or communal deities.

Those rituals are now out-of-date. Enter the Pentecostal church.

The pastor or prophet in designer silk suit from Milan has taken over from the village diviner and rituals are no longer performed with goats and cockerels but with tithes and American dollar offerings.

Prophecies do not come in riddles or proverbs, but in plain language.

One does not have anything over the other except in the most important matter of bank balance.
Sola Odunfa, Nollywood and religion

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2 Comments:

Blogger Jan/John H. Boer said...

That comes pretty close to the painful truth! It's called Pentecostal but is it not really Paganism in new dress?

4:01 am  
Blogger Jan/John H. Boer said...

This comes pretty close to the painful truth. It may be called Pentecostal or even Christian, but is it not Paganism in new uniform?

4:03 am  

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