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Religious Leaders Should Imbibe The True Virtues Of Spiritual Calling In Their Service To God And Humanity

 Religious Leaders Should Imbibe The True Virtues Of Spiritual Calling In Their Service To God And Humanity Nigerian Religious leaders most ...

 Religious Leaders Should Imbibe The True Virtues Of Spiritual Calling In Their Service To God And Humanity

Nigerian Religious leaders most unfortunately, appear only to be in agreement with the voice of God while keeping deaf ears to the cries of their own people even in the face of horrifying social injustices. They traffic in other world theology whose main instrument centers on mind conditioning and deflection of attention from the immediate conditions of the people, with seeming far fetched promises of a better life.

In all records of history, preaching of the gospel and human rights activism have always overlapped each other in times of political oppression. Genuine preachers are known for taking to the pulpit and unmistakably speaking against the ills of oppressive governments. Most of Nigerian preachers have rather, made prophecy and tithing, the major concern of their sermons. This they disapointedly do, in addition to the magical drive for seed sowing and prosperity reaping. 

In the 1960s, and precisely the era of civil right campaigns, African-American preachers literally, transformed their pulpits into makeshift opposition podiums, from where they fired away at the institutional managers of racism and segregation. This pattern is a long thread that runs through the history of America, going back to black resistance period, especially in the late 19th century. This was when a Methodist gospel preacher and a former slave, Fredrick Douglas, methodically harnessed the biblical principles to shoot down various theories that gave legitimacy to slavery. His unwavering will and determination to build the government of his day to account, played a monumental role in the eventual emancipation proclamation and abolition of slavery in America.

It must be noted however, that African-Americans of old, went through "fire and water", to arrive at their present abode in the United States. They paid a costly price for their freedom. Although pushed to the backwaters of the society, nearly crushed by institutionalized oppression and violence, these people never strayed from the ultimate goal which has always been to venture across all known frontiers in asserting their humanity and God-given rights. They exercised such to the fullest.

At every given step of the way, their religious leaders availed themselves, with the opportunity to speak to the moral conscience of America. In a dramatic and yet effective fashion, they had always brought America to her knees with her hypocricy and had strongly confronted her with extensive reality of her creeds and actions. For instance, in the 1960s, Reverend Martin Luther King Junior, employed the usage of his religious megaphone in making the struggle for justice and freedom, a central part of the role of spiritual leadership. The roaring of his voice took their political struggle to the end zone. The interaction between the religious context and real-world struggles, clearly informed his steps. He did not only strongly preach the gospel of justice and equity, he also protested on the streets till he drew his last breath.

In like manner, Malcolm X, though a Muslim and an Islamic religious leader in his own right, precisely applied religious teachings to demolish all institutions erected against black Americans and Africans. One common factor amongst these religious leaders, was their agreement on and pursuit of the unconditional freedom of their people. Clearly, they refused to have it any other way but courageously took to the streets with their people, to keep the heat on their governments until the freedom bell rang.

Above all, the shoes they left behind, are yet there for Nigerian religious leaders especially those of Igbo extraction, to wear. To do so, they must have to elbow their way to the front burner of the restoration struggle for the Biafran nation. They must commit to using their religious platforms to bring before Buhari's inescapable view, the evils of his government, the unwarranted gruesome killings, kidnappings and imcarcerations of Igbo Biafran youths. These religious leaders should really get readily prepared to sacrifice their lives if need be, for the truth to prevail.

Written by Chima Ono

Edited by Peter Oshagwu

For Family Writers Press International


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