5 Reasons Why Nigerians are Over Religious.
It's only recently we Nigerians started calling each other's attention to our Over religious attitudes and beliefs. We are just awakening.
Before, when the name of God was placed in any statement or utterance, such statement was not liable to questioning. But now, we've seen that all those things were on the extreme and that being over religious doesn't and never pays. Being over religious is arguably one of the reasons why Nigeria is in the mess it's in. And that's a fact.
We idolize our religious leaders, placing them on a pedestal. Almost worshipping them. But, these so called leaders never tell us to refrain from such. Instead they glory in it and give us more reasons to fear them. And we foolishly succumb. In the holy books, God commanded that, "You shall have no other gods but me". Haven't we had other gods by idolizing our spiritual leaders? Aren't we sinning in that way? But usually, we don't see these things since we're too religious.
There are many ways our over religious beliefs and attitudes show in our everyday actions. For example, the typical Nigerian believes in swearing by God's name to prove a point. Do you need to?
Another scenario is the belief that witches follow us from the village down to the city.
Another example is extreme religious practices and hiding under the guise of religion to carry out immoral acts.
So, why do we Nigerians tend to be over religious? Why do we let ourselves be taken advantage of, all in the name of religion? Why do we cheat ourselves while hiding under the umbrella of religion? Below are five reasons why;
It is well known that fear paralyzes a person. And the manipulative religious leaders know that. So they psychologically twist our mentality into having "fear of questioning or confrontation". The funny thing is they find scriptures in the holy books to back themselves up. So, usually the followers never question and actually believe that they should be afraid. Be afraid of their religious leaders, be afraid of repercussions, be afraid of anything of God. And never question. Sad as it is. Since, God is love. And Jesus preached love as the greatest.
---"The witches in my village are following me" mentality.
This is so common and very well known. Okay so, I believe there are negative forces in this world. And I know that regular prayer, appropriate fastings and good deeds can protect a person from them. Yes.
But the belief that whatever bad thing happens to you is because there are witches following you about, is utterly ridiculous. Many factors play a role in why bad things happen. We live in an imperfect world so we can't always expect perfection. In fact, it's normal. So, attributing EVERY bad thing that happens to you to a witch's attack is so unreasonable. But, pitifully it's a big reason why Nigerians, especially the illiterate and semi-literate ones, are so over religious. They believe they must conquer those witches so they go into different types of extreme religious practices.
--- Religious Leaders
Very corrupt religious leaders will lead their followers astray. They will plant fear into them for their own selfish interests. And if the congregation are not careful, they'll become people who can't think on their own. Whatever the leader tells them is final, whether right or wrong.
So, it seems a large portion of the religious leaders in Nigeria are corrupt and sinful thus causing a high population of over religious folks. That is, mislead people. So yeah, our religious leaders are a root cause of our almost national religious extremism.
--- Our tendency to OVER DO.
We have an issue in Nigeria and that is lack of inhibition. We over do things, we don't practice restraint. And it has played a huge role in our over religious attitude.
We over apply the holy scriptures to back ourselves up, we over do religious practices, we over use curse words, we even over commit sin. When we over do everything, why won't we over do religion?
---For personal gain.
Corruption is the word. There are people who use the concept of religion to dupe other people. Some leaders make full time income from their religious organisations. This encourages the followers to embrace joblessness.
I remember some time last year when it was all over the news that a pastor stood on the backs of some of his congregation to preach the sermon. That pastor was being extreme in religion for personal gain. Sometimes, we even falsely swear by God's name in hopes that we'll get what we want. All these are ways of using religious extremism for personal gain.
Above, I listed five reasons why I think Nigerians are over religious. And those reasons are very real.
Nigerians can avoid being extreme in religion by choosing their LEADERS wisely. That is, their spiritual or religious leaders. Know them, study them. Don't just be a follower to anybody, for you will also be anybody too.
And also, do the right things by your religion or by your heart. Pray. Give to the needy. Love everyone. And stay true. And, you'll know it in your heart that you're on the path to being religiously sound and not extreme.