Last week I drove around the industrial areas in town as I transcended the streets I realised one normal but precisely abnormal everyday happening. It is funny but it’s certainly the truth, churches are replacing industries in Zimbabwe, does this mean all of a sudden people now all believe in God much more than before.
All Africans are naturally religious this is much because of the close interconnection between our culture and our religion most at times there is no difference between African religion and African culture chiefly because they work hand in hand to influence generally the way we conduct ourselves as a people. Religion is an important aspect to everyone, for a human being to be called a human being it is because they believe in something, however religion is not meant to enslave our people and make them injudicious.
Christian Apostolic and Pentecostal churches are being formed everyday under the disguise of freedom of religion. How sincere is a church were an individual is idolised to the extent that people kiss his feet , can we justify a religious sect were a prophet forces his congregants to graze grass while riding on their backs in the name of the Holy Spirit certainly what have we come to us as Africans .
These Christian denominations are stripping away the individual of their dignity and humanity and I wonder if as literate as we are we can’t see it.
When poverty strikes people turn to religion for solace hence one can notice specifically in Zimbabwe that more people are turning to God as a result of poverty. However I am of the contention that most religions are the main cause of poverty since they subjugate their people form growing and developing.
How can one justify a church that forces it congregants to shave their heads and at the same time it forces them to sit in the sun for the whole day even whilst temperatures are high , the only reason why people will continue to come to that church is because they are convinced that some way their God will bless them through their sect yet this is a very misinformed decision , people should learn to work and fend for themselves no wonder the donor syndrome will always persists this is because of these religious sects .
If religion teaches the wrong doctrine then definitely the fabric of society will not exist of late Pentecostals have been teaching the so called prosperity gospel were they emphasise that getting rich is God’s plan this can be juxtaposed to the trends in the levels of corruption in Zimbabwe government officials are spotted in the night attending Pentecostal services and in the morning they appear in the front pages of newspapers because of corruption , who is influencing who , my take is religion since it is the one that lays the doctrine of prosperity .
We as Zimbabweans are lacking in identity, we do not know who we are and where we are going, we are ready to accept everything as long as it comes from the television and it has style.
The Pentecostal style of gospel in not applicable in Zimbabwe since here we know that religion is not all about getting rich contrary to what these preach that is why the moral fabric of our country is eroding slowly but certainly while we watch immorality, corruption and cultural decadence are all linked and inter connected to these now-now religious sects and Pentecostal movements hence I stand guided that in Zimbabwe the main cause of poverty are these now-now religious sects.
People are being exploited and robbed in broad daylight churches have turned in to money making enterprises , they are now rich to the extent of constructing hotels and running businesses what happened to their main duties , it is the duty of the churches and all religious sects to take care of the poor , to help improve the health of our people (whilst not performing magic) and also to build schools , religion must never be run as a business yet these now-now denominations are concerned about making money rather than ministering to the needs of the communities .
It is prudent and in recognition of religious liberty that the government finds some form control mechanism to regulate the activities of churches so as to protect our people from themselves .
Religious beliefs and religious convictions can be extremely dangerous if not controlled a notable example is how extremist- Islamist fighters like Alquaeda and ISIS in the Middle East justify suicide bombing in the name of Islam although that is wrong interpretation of the Quran .
Our country might be slowly turning in to a small middle east as a result of these now-now religious sects, I won’t mention them since we know who I am referring to it is imperative we start protecting our selves from the abuse of religion.
- Shingirai Nyahwa is a social and political analyst and also a blogger. He works with THE SPACE Zimbabwe as a Content Writer.
The views expressed above are of the author and they do not reflect the views of the publisher or were and who the writer works with.