What happened to the African religion?

Fokumlah Nchungong writes that Africans have become universal clowns for their exaggeration of foreign religious practices

It is not surprising to observe that foreign religions have destroyed our collective reasoning.   Africa and Africans have remained the dumping ground for imported ideologies and dogmatic belief systems, writes Fokumlah Nchungong.  

Isn’t it strange that the cradle of humanity and ideological developments in all aspects of our existentialism has been deprived of its religious autonomy?

While growing up, I couldn’t question the morality of these belief systems because I was indoctrinated by my parents into Christianity. Providence placed most of us in different houses of worship. We have no choices.  Getting baptized, Sunday schools, Mosques, Missionary schools, Temples, Synagogues, Shrines…; were just but normal for us.  We could never question any of those places because our parents gave us no options. Fair enough, most of us grew up with a settling moral value and we are now quite productive in the society. I just have a problem transferring those allegorical doctrines to my offspring.

But wait a minute, what happened?  If Africa is the home to the first homo-sapiens, were they not supposed to be the custodians of all religions?  Of course and certainly, they understood the essence of divinity in an advanced spiritual lineage with the so-called God which was nature in its purest form. The Sun, animals, aves, water, wind, plants, soil, air etc had attributes in understanding the “ALMIGHTY”

Now the problem is- how come we are the only continent that doesn’t practice its own religion on a global scale?

From Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, Baha’i, Sikhism, Mohammedans, Scientology, …  Do we still even have to question the origin of most of the ritualistic practices they perform when worshiping God/spirit? Apparently not.  It is the same ritualistic processes being recycled constantly to feed the agenda of the “Gods words” in a chosen religious banner.  All religions practically originate from the societies’ method of understanding divinity/supernatural.  It’s not strange that it’s being practiced differently in every corner of the Earth.  It is absolutely difficult for me to associate myself with any of them when they all resonate like a business strategy which is always looking for new converts to buy the ideology.

Over 400,000 African Mohammedans travel on pilgrimage to Mecca every year.  The Vatican and Jerusalem annually receive over 300, 000 Africans on holy voyages.  India and China are also flooded yearly but Africans visiting their gurus and shrines for religious gratifications.  Talk to me about religious tourism and the financial benefits being generated.  The big question is, who is traveling to Africa for religious pilgrimages?

Yes, we have been praying to their Gods for way too long. In my experience growing up as a Christian follower,  the pastors and priests in various denominations were already dishonest enough for my taste, but our present-day charlatans called prophets, apostles, men of God; preaching in the name of prosperity gospels are becoming cancerogenic to the African State of Mind.

How many African problems have been solved since we started praying?  Have prayers ever given us good leadership and governance? Is there no Christian able to feed 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes? Why are we helpless and dependent on grants and crumbs, constantly taking extravagant amounts of loans from others while indebting our countries for generations to come? Manna never fell from the skies as some prayer warriors will claim they can move mountains. Why can’t these religious leaders not pray to be presidents of countries themselves or are such prayers out of reach to be miracles?

Africa has been experiencing every negative societal trend from slavery, colonialism, neocolonialism, apartheid, famine, religious wars (killing each because of foreign religions), natural disasters and so on.  Have prayers ever solved any of these crises?

Ethics, morality with structural accountability fostered developments in organized countries. I seldom find religious institutions scattered on every street corner here, as is the case in most African countries. The exaggeration of these practices has literally transformed us Africans into universal clowns. We are trying so hard to aggrandize the dogmas more than those that came with the doctrines. From the African man trying to preach the gospel of Jesus to a European in the streets of London, to an African man trying to convert an Arab atheist into Islam, the theatrically healing of sick people in churches and/or reviving a dead body to life in congregations.  Our minds are being perverted beyond repair. Sadly, we are still caught up in the Stockholm syndrome. It’s not startling to me that I usually only get stopped by Africans here in Stockholm to be preached the “word of God”.

We need to rethink.  These religions all try to teach or preach love but segregate the love based on dogmatic inclinations.  It’s mind-blowing to absorb the notion of “One Bible”, but we are now counting over 4000 different denominations, interpreting the “One Bible” differently while galvanizing fragile and desperate believers to follow their respective agendas. This is just an organized cacophony. It is wrong.

No country on Earth has ever developed based on prayers. Hard work is the only way.  I will never introduce my children to any religious practices. Love for all- is what I can offer. I don’t need any man to tell me how to express it. It is instinctive.

Nchungong is a Cameroonian-born writer residing in Sweden.  He is the author of a trilogy of e-books that discusses bi-racial relationship in Sweden 

Comments
4 Responses to “What happened to the African religion?”
  1. Fasuekoi says:

    Greetings Mr. Editor:

    The writer seems to dismiss the idea that there exists an All Powerful God whose name is Jehovah, the One who sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to redeem us of our sins. And quite troubling also to me is his comment that “I will never introduce my children to any religious practices.” I find his comment very intriguing, especially where he intends to also prevent, and/or dissuade his children from part taking in in the Lord’s Kingdom or any other religious rites.

    Well, all I can say to the author is that Jesus Christ of Nazareth liveth yesterday, today, and forever, and His Father is The Great I Am, the One who appeared in the burning bush to Moses. Jehovah God is the Beginning and the End; the First and the Last! There’s none like Him and neither has any existed before like Him, nor will there be hereafter, for the Bible tells me so. (And yes, one can call me a “religious” fanatic! I will accept that than be a fanatic for a warlord or a mortal man).

    I know all these to be true because, He’s my redeemer, my provider and my protector. How do I know? He miraculously saved my life many times when I worked as a news correspondent for nearly a decade, covering brutal African wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone for the AP and several other news agencies during the 90s. Sometimes I endured tortures at the hands of rebels forces and soldiers of the multinational African Peacekeeping Force but the Lord God kept me through.

    For instance, one of the moments I experienced God’s divine grace is when I was prevented from making a scheduled trip at the eleventh hour to Freetown and onward into ECOMOG controlled areas, a journey that turned tragic, with our news crew being ambushed! I still strongly believe it had to be God who stopped me from making that trip although I had almost put up a protest when a former boss asked me to stay without an explanation. I later reasoned it all had come from the Lord. These days, I can’t help but exalt Him with all my might and giving testimonies of my ordeals in schools and at church services in the US.

    I am originally from Liberia and belong to a family line that worshiped nature long ago such as mountain, animal, water, etc, an example of which you cited earlier. However, I don’t view Christianity or the Holy Bible as a “foreign” religion. In fact, I feel more than blessed to be a partaker and somehow still feel guilty that many of my beloved parents didn’t get to know and serve The Great I Am during their lifetime.

    For the author, I will pray that the Son of Man, Jesus Christ of Nazareth will appear or reveal Himself to him in a call manner just as He did for so many other people in the past. For it is only in God’s Hands that author and his innocent children can be saved especially in this chaotic and wicked world we all find ourselves.

    Jesus Christ of Nazareth, may You touch him and his family and draw them near You just as You’ve done in my life. Amen!

    Fasuekoi 03/09/19

  2. Nchungong says:

    Brother Fasuekoi, l do understand your limitations in reasoning out of your trap. You are in a box. It’s very understandable because that is exactly what religion does. It’s called “Mind Conditioning”. It takes time to de-code the brain drain. Ask yourself, were your colleagues who perished inferior than you in the eyes of God, why did your prayers not prevent the war in the first place, is the future unknown to your proclaimed God? What did all those innocent souls have to perish? Did Jesus care less of them? How did the country come back to normalcy? Was it in prayer houses or a human resolution to put an end to the mayhem?

    From the talking snake during the so called garden of Eden, Moses using a stick to split open an ocean, Noah fitting all animals and bird species in a boat, a fish transporting Jonas, Jesus walking on water or feeding and talking to 5000 people at the same time without a microphone and loud speakers…and so on. If anyone in 2019 can’t still see the irrelevance in this badly written science fiction, then the Stockholm syndrome should be an emergency disease. A slave has no right to stop another slave from fighting for his mental liberation.

    • Fasuekoi says:

      Greetings Brother Nchungong and many thanks for responding to my comments regarding your article. I went through the many questions you raised in relation to Bible teachings and honestly, I probably would have fallen for them if I hadn’t studied World Religions recently. But I thank God for His words and would advise other brothers and sisters everywhere to read through God’s words for himself so as not to fall prey to deception for 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God,……” And I respectfully disagree with your characterization that I am “trapped” or “in a box,” and neither do I suffer from a “Stockholm syndrome” as you insinuated.

      You asked the following questions: 1. [W]ere your colleagues who perished inferior than you in the eyes of God? 2. [W]hy did your prayers not prevent the war in the first place? 3. [I]s the future unknown to your proclaimed God? 4. What did all those innocent souls have to perish? 5. Did Jesus care less of them? 6. How did the country come back to normalcy? 7. Was it in prayer houses or a human resolution to put an end to the mayhem?

      My answer to the first is a resounding No! I wasn’t any better than those who died during those bloody wars. Equally so, I must emphatically state here that God made all of us in a very special way, hence, I don’t count myself as just “anybody”. Read Psalm 82:6 for instance: “I [God] said, You are ‘gods’; you are all sons of the Most High.” Similarly in Psalm 139:14, it is stated: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” My point here in other words is that another person’s situation can’t be mine and I am glad that He chose and draw me near to Himself for I believe He has a work for me to do.

      In addition, let me inform you my brother that God isn’t the author of “confusion” but is of Love instead. He’s a good God and knows how to reward His followers as is in Matt. 7;11 “If you, then though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” Tragedies like wars and planes crashes are the work of Satan and not God.

      For your second question, I was actually a baby Christian when the war struck and it was after I later fled to the US that I became Born Again. However, I did pray many times during the war whenever I was caught in horrible and life-threatening situations and those prayers were mostly for me and my family. I didn’t really pray in that direction such as asking God’s mercy to stop the Taylor war. Nevertheless, I believe there were thousands of Liberians and foreign friends praying for the Lord to stop the war.

      As stated earlier, God isn’t the author of confusion and tragedies; bad things come from Satan and in which case the Most High can decide whether or not to intervene and stop such unfortunate events or ignore them. An example could be the case of Job who, according to the Bible, was a just man. As you and I know, Satan hit Job hard with tragedy after tragedy trying to make him lose faith in God but Job remained persistent and honored God.

      For the civil war in Liberia, there were prophecies made by many bishops together with that of a prophetess in the country that God was angry at the nation’s leaders because, of “too much” innocent bloodshed that was taking place in Liberia. And it is widely stated by people who encountered late Mother Wilhelmina Dukuly few months prior to her death, that there would come a tragic consequence for such vices if the leaders, particularly, Samuel Doe, didn’t move to end the wickedness. This can be compared to the days, as is now, when the Lord would send warnings to His people ahead in order to avert a possible disaster, something we read in Jonah 1:2, when God instructed Jonah to “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” So, the Lord showed signs in all manners but many including leaders refused to yield to those warnings. In this case one can’t blame God and I hope that answers 3 and 4.

      For questions 4 and 5, I will say yes; the country returned to normalcy through the power of “prayer houses” and also human resolution in that the same God uses human beings to come together and resolve crisis for He is a spirit and thus couldn’t have come down in the form of a physical human to do the works Himself.

      In your belief, Moses parting the Red Seas with his rod and Noah managing to carry onboard his art all the different kinds of earthly animals per God’s instruction before the eruption of that great flood are all “science faction.” And you go on further to also cite and dispute the stories of Jonah and the big fish as well as other amazing things that Jesus, the Messiah, performed, including walking on water, and feeding and talking to “5000 at the same time without a microphone.” Well, let me tell you again that these are all true stories and were written down according to prophecy in some cases. Stop entertaining those carnal and reprobate thoughts and go back to the Lord who is our savior.

      God is God and He being the Great Creator of the universe, what else can’t He do? See the story of Nehemiah in Ezekiel 37:1-14, where he’s commanded to prophecy so that the “dry bones” could once more come into a human form and live. Number 22:28, the donkey speaks to Balaam, having spotted an Angel who blocks its way. Of course, even the rocks will clap if the Lord wants it so! So, Brother Nchungong, I will never consider the Bible story or God’s miraculous works in my life and others as “irrelevant” or a “science faction.” For if written stories of former great US Presidents like George Washington and AB Lincoln, the man who carried America through civil wars and eventually fought to end slave trade, are to be taken seriously and consider to be true, then there’s even a more compelling reason to believe the sequences of events involving Jesus and many prophets as narrated in the Holy Bible.

      You see Brother Nchungong, I too understand where you are coming from with such thoughts. I can tell from my personal experience in that I was someone who used to question everything under the sun. And no one could easily convince me in an argument. And I ‘ve also heard someone used your line of argument in the past which seems to suggest there’s no God and that some “White” folks may have written the Bible with the aim to control others. (But the question again arises-control who? For White people too do worship this God earnestly). I felt annoyed knowing that ex-Black US Slaves who took the Bible to Liberia in the hope of “civilizing” Natives, went on to mistreat the locals. The coming in of Whites with the Bible didn’t help the situation either as they too created an impression that “everything” about Native Africans and cultures wasn’t good and “only their way.” “We were taught our thoughts were evil and our religions were not really religions”-Chinua Achene(“A World of Ideas/Moyers 1989”) They caused many Native Liberians for example to turn away from Christianity.

      However, my worldview started to change when I recognized that there was a big and powerful God and there was also satan! And I came to the realization that we have a choice here as humans: Either you decide to serve satan and deal with all the consequences that may result from such action or push away your idols and trust in the Lord and Savior and have Him as your protector. I chose the latter.

      Personally, I take these exchanges very seriously not because I intend mainly to win you over to renewing your vow to the Lord, but because is a possibility that another person or lost soul reading these discourse could be touched and turn his or her life over to Jesus Christ and experience Christ’s benefits, Psalm 103:2. For you who grew up attending Sunday church service and Sunday Bible school, no amount of persuasion I believe can bring you back to Christ except by His power!

      Unfortunately Bro. Nchungong, you haven’t clearly stated your position in terms of you beliefs system sine we started these exchanges. I am very interested in knowing whether you are an atheist, or still worship idols, or one of those who believes in the so-called “Big Bang!” theory. But whatever your “religion” is, I ask that you kindly answer the following sever questions:

      1. How do you believe the world will end? Just due to natural circumstances, or will there be a supernatural conclusion?

      2. Do you believe the world will end climatically or apocalyptically with signs in the heavens and earth?

      3. Do you believe in a Messianic Figure that will come from heaven and restore all things?

      4. Do you believe that an evil ruler will first come (an anti-christ figure) to war against the Victory to come and to lead many
      into delusion?

      5. What are some things you are expecting (signs) of the end times?

      6. Do you believe that there will be a “mark of the beast?” What is it?

      7. Do you believe satan exists and is capable of destroying the both righteous and unrighteous?

      Regards,

      Fasuekoi
      PS: I have a son-in law who is Cameroonian and will keep praying so he too can find the Lord for ‘Heaven is for real!’ Last night I bought this book titled: “I Saw Heaven” by Roberts Liardon. Roberts said he was 8 years old when he encountered Jesus who “took him through heaven.” He will be lecturing us this evening at a revival and you could visit his website to learn more about Jesus and Heaven.

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