Religion is causing poverty in Africa

    By Abednico Siambombe

    Religion is one of the forms by which poverty is fine tuned to enhance human suffering at the expense of the gospel preached by those who endeavour to achieve political fame and luxury. It is through such written, broadcasted and preached gospels that most people have been hinged to believing instead of knowing. People in this decade have developed a comatose habit of wanting what is unknown compared to what is known.

    This century has seen the rise of prominent,  man of fame than man of God, man who seek wealth than man who seek salvation, man who are artistic in deception than man of truth and those who are lumbering in poverty seeking guidance on how to get out of the misery. This scenario has created a demise and unpalatable circumstance where the haves milk the have not and they still regard that as relevant because they are too blind to see.

    Too many gospels have been put on the alters, pulpits, congregations and even crusades depending on which term the owner wants to use to seek uniqueness, but the gospel preached today has caught human kind by surprise. In the past, it was easy to see a difference between a church and a political party although they had some certain limited influence on leaders, but in today’s world churches are more of associations with motives of changing the world, serving political interests than serving God. Such synopsis has been escalated in countries that are always at a parallel glance with their leadership and governance systems.

    Religious congregations are filled with many people chasing miracles from what is commonly known as prophets and the politicians seek links and connections to convey their political language simultaneously. Examples have been highly observed in prophetic-political language of deception which announced the winning of Hichilema Hakainde Zambia’ opposition leader before elections were even conducted. This made the candidate to be so confident and determined to lose every thin dime in his pocket in belief he would attain office.

    As if not enough, 2016 has been a year of such misery on people, even the educated are made to believe fallacies and the power of religious deception conquers with might. Hillary Clinton is in awe and agony mourning the loss she has grabbed in the presidential race after Trump’s win when the man of sweet words made the world believe and wait in vain for Hillary’s entry into the White House in Washington DC. For this case, religion enslaves the weak minds and those who are lazy to do home works, assignment or research whatever it can be termed to suffer the pain of hope in the arena of politics.

    Now Zimbabwe’s Kumbirai Kangai is left with great hope and anxiety that he will one day be a president of Zimbabwe. Is this not a year of guessing by these prophets or a year of false prophecy? It is tremendous and horrendous to find that God can even mistrust the great man to give them a spirit of lying to the entire world. The real man of God has no energy worsted on earthly matters, political issues, instead serving their father is the ultimate goal and this luxurious self-induced idiocy is not considerable.

    Religion has now drained the human mind economically making people more and more vulnerable than before. Yes I do not disagree that miracles can happen, but what people are savouring is so biter to swallow. An example is of prophets selling miracle bricks to people in Zimbabwe promising them they can build houses. Such fundraising tactics are so cruel to human survival and human insecurity is increased by such religious malpractices. People do not ask themselves a question to why they are buying wrist bands, holy water, anointing oil and bandanas for God’s protection when in actual practice the people selling these to them have security guards by their side every time. Does it mean that God only protect the disciples and the leaders are protected by human beings?

    According to the biblical demands and commands, a man has to pay a tenth of his gains to God yes we do acknowledge that. But a situation of seeding thousands of dollars obtained in sweat and pain for unrealised miracle is absurd. Many religious leaders today have become wealthier than their followers, they have established companies in the expense of the poor and weak minded few seeking for religious favours. This situation is so incredible since the name of God is being used to economically benefit the priests, prophets, bishops and in some instances founders or presidents depending on the dogmatic doctrines of the denominations.

    People are now in the age where religion is used as a mechanism of accumulating wealth, winning fame and politically balancing fear. If politicians find themselves at loggerheads with each other, mediation is along religious lines. The people cannot tolerate each other and there is no religious respect among the various religious sects as they are dominated by a language of hate and criticism as they seek dominance.

    Religious extremism has led to an increased number of deaths, destruction of infrastructure and corruption as has been experienced in the Middle East where Islam as a religion is used by politicians to acquire supremacy making the religion appear ambiguous to the world. Resources in the Middle East have been plundered to benefit the elites and make political controls over the many.

    Further, religion has now programmed people into robotic thinkers waiting for commands and control. When the world is tumbling, people go for prayers instead of taking measures to mitigate the problems, when there is political mayhem, people go to churches to fast so that God can fight for them. Are we not being driven into a state of religious leadership and crumbling in the eyes of those behind the scenes?  Religion is now a vogue of political and economic dominance.

    People are now suffering not because of God’s name but because of the economy. Many religious denominations have sprouted all over the world but a high number is in the African continent, at the same time there is only one God worshiped who is not multiplying. This presents a serious catastrophe as the sprouting religious leaders seek attention to milk the meagre resource from the poor. In the name of gospel, the poor are promised the kingdom of heaven, making them to want more of what they cannot see like a person taking liquor to temporarily forget his misery.

    Economic failures have given birth to too many religious sects, many apostles and prophets who are seeking not only fame but poverty easing today. People can no longer differentiate a political propaganda and true gospel and religion is being abused to acquire such human desires by the self-proclaimed agents of God.

    • Abednico Siambombe (Midlands State University, Zimbabwe. Department of Politics and Public Management) is a political analyst and social commentator for Khuluma Afrika – a center for analysis, commentary and investigative journalism.


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