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We Should Remove Religion From The Constitution, Says Ganiyu Adams

The National Coordinator of the Oduaa People’s Congress, and a delegate to the ongoing National Conference, has called on the conference to remove religion from the Nigerian constitution. He made the call during an interview with SaharaTV last weekend. He warned that if not handled well, Nigeria runs the risk of plunging into a religious crisis.

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Victims of Too Much Religion By Abiodun Ladepo

By Abiodun Ladepo

Just two houses away from ours in Ibadan, a new church sprang up last year.  The arrival of the church signaled the end of the little tranquility we enjoyed in the Apata/Oluyole axis of the city.  Before the church, we had had to deal with the noise emanating from the loudspeakers of the mosque located three miles away at the Apata market.  For every prayer session, including at 5:00 a.m., the adherents of Islam in that mosque blared their worship sessions through huge loudspeakers.

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The Bus Preacher Vs The Queen Of The Coast

By Don Norman Obinna

Apparently, religion has become the opium of the people simply because of the government dereliction of its statutory obligations. The more people are impoverished, the more they become impressionable to all sorts of messages in the name of the gospel. The more unemployment accelerates the more young men and women resorts to self-serving preaching as a means of survival.

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Religion: The Bane Of Afica’s Development?

By Ijabla Raymond

Let’s keep this really simple – our continent has adopted 2 foreign religions, which are diametrically opposed to each other. Their gods are mutually exclusive and hating of each other, the inevitable consequence being that we are engaged in perpetual ethno-religious conflicts in the name of these gods. An African muslim will sooner identify with say, an Arab or Afghan muslim than with a fellow non-muslim African.

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Shall We Ban Religion? By Michael Egbejumi-David

Michael Egbejumi-David

By Michael Egbejumi-David

I got the first phone call just before 1:00pm, UK time.  This was Tuesday 13th November 2012. It was from my sister in Lagos.  She was frantic.  Our younger brother’s wife was bleeding, losing a lot of blood, laid out on a bed at the National Hospital, Abuja.  She had just delivered a baby, their second in just over two years.

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My Religion Is Better Than Yours By Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo

Columnist: 
There is no consensus on how we got to this 4.5 billion-year-old piece of real estate called the earth. The best estimate says that modern man showed up some 200,000 years ago. The only consensus is that the first series of questions that crossed the mind of the first group of men and women who saw themselves on earth were: who am I? Where am I? How did I get here? Who made me? Where am I going from here? These questions are the original questions.

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Fear of Religion-Related Violence: Police on Red Alert Nationwide

Police IG, MD Abubakar

By SaharaReporters, New York

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, has placed all Police Formations in Nigeria on red alert, and ordered water-tight security around embassies and foreign missions.

This confirms an earlier SaharaReporters story that security in Northern Nigeria has been beefed up. 

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Prominent Nigerian Pastor In Ukraine Claims Persecution By Ukrainian Police-Empowered Newswire

Pastor Sunday Adelaja
By Empowered Newswire

The Ukrainian Police has summoned a famous Nigerian Pastor Sunday Adelaja, who pastors the country’s biggest church based in the Kiev, capital city, to report for what is feared may be an arrest and detention in a controversial case bordering on racial discrimination and religious victimization, which has been going on for the last three years, Empowered Newswire reports.

Confirming the invitation by the nation’s Internal Affairs Ministry in an interview over the weekend, Adelaja said the case for which he is being summoned is about the collapse of a business-King’s Capital which was owned by members of his church, but for which he or the church administration had no formal or official relationship.

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“I Will Slap Again!” Bishop Oyedepo Brags In First Public Response To Internet Outrage Over Assault On Teenage Girl

Bishop David Oyedepo, the founder and president of the Living Faith Church, also known as Winners Chapel, today in Ota reacted in his sermon to the spreading video that showed his scandalous slapping of a worshipper during a ‘deliverance’ drama at his church.

"People now complain on the Internet that I slapped a witch.  If I see another one, I’ll slap," said the Bishop, who has become the butt of many jokes since the video was published. 

Still, he bragged today, “It is my ministry to slap!”

Bishop Oyedepo, who is seen on the video slapping the young lady for describing herself as a “witch for Christ,” then said of himself, “I am a Baba witch myself.”

He did not explain what he meant, nor did he slap himself.

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2nd VIDEO: Wealthy Nigerian Pastor Who Slapped Teenage Girl Before Thousands At Church Service Still Boasts Of The Beating

Nigeria’s wealthiest pastor, David Oyedepo, returned to the scene of the crime last year when, speaking to a full church assembly, he recalled walloping a young girl in the face, knocking her backwards, as she knelt before thousands of church members, where people kneel to be saved.

The ringing slap could be heard easily on the video of that service but no copy was available until a source just provided it to SaharaReporters.

The incident took place in 2009 and it was recalled by Pastor Oyedepo in 2010 at his Winners Chapel, in Otta, Ogun state, Southwest Nigeria. “I slapped a witch here last year,” Oyedepo declared, stressing each word, on the video. “She came back in February to apologize. She begged me to please forgive her.” He added the warning, “Starting today, the things harassing you, you will start harassing them.”

FIRST ASSAULT VIDEO IN 2009

See:  A new petition calling on the Nigerian government to prosecute Pastor David Oyedepo

Thanks to YouTube and Oyedepo’s tradition of videotaping his sermons, the slap and the recall of the slap are now being seen by thousands.

The girl on her knees appeared to be a suffering teenager in a simple dress whose soft voice cracked as she answered the pastor’s insistent questions. She had been first on a line of teenagers apparently ushered in to confess their sins. Pastor lost his composure when the teen from Imo state, pressured to say she was a witch, claimed instead to be a “witch for Jesus”.  The words had barely left her mouth when she was hit hard by the pastor’s open hand.

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Commentary: Homosexuality And Nigeria’s Enochs and Josephs

An unmistakable irony marks the current crusade of Africa’s Christians against what they see as the evil of homosexuality. Let’s call it the holy irony, though unholy might be the apt modifier given the stunning absence of Christian love and understanding that characterises it.

It is the irony of a people once enslaved and colonised by Europe partly for their heathenism now assuming the mantle of “The Black Man’s Burden.” Which makes it Africa’s reverse “mission civilisatrice” to save Europe and the world from the Armageddon-like repercussions of the greatest sin of all: same-sex sexual relations. For that unpardonable sin, remember, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed and Lot’s wife turned to a pillar of salt for merely casting a backward glance at the raging fire of destruction.

The unbounded zealotry of Africa’s reverse missionaries reminds me of two minor characters in those classic dramas of our (post)colonial existence: Chinua Achebe’s Enoch in Things Fall Apart and Wole Soyinka’s Joseph in Death and the King’s Horseman.  They symbolise the frenzy of the reformed prostitute or criminal who espouses an impracticable morality. And so Enoch, son of the priest of the snake cult in Umuofia but eager to prove the fervour of his new-found faith, slays and eats the sacred python, even though Mr Brown, the white missionary, preaches against just such “excess of zeal.” For his part, Joseph resigns his post as houseboy to the colonial officer because the white man who should know better had scolded him for acting as if “all that holy water nonsense has wiped out your tribal memory.” Saul, the chief persecutor of Christ, presents us with the biblical version of this figure after his Road-to-Damascus conversion.

The lion-heart of this crusade to save Europe from an even worse heathenism than Africa had been accused of is the Rev. Jasper Akinola, former primate of the Anglican Church in Nigeria. He seized the limelight eight years ago when his was the most strident voice against the ordination of gay bishops in Britain and the United States. By threatening to lead his fellow literalist interpreters of the bible out of the Anglican Communion, Akinola set himself up as the moral torchbearer of the faith, the-truth-and-the-way to the uncorrupted revelation of God’s mind from Moses and Jesus to St. John the Divine of the bizarre book of Revelation. Wearing the collar and cassock of this new gospel as chairman of the Global South Primates, he co-authored a 2005 letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury in which he describes Europe as “a spiritual desert” and the Church of England’s humane acceptance of same-sex partnerships as “evil.” Never was evil so harmless! Although three co-signatories, including Bishop Clive Handford of Jerusalem (no less!) and the Middle East, denied signing or approving the letter and described Akinola’s action as “scandalous,” that has not dulled the halo around Jasper-the-Lion-Heart. And he has since taken steps to set up the Anglican Church in North America in opposition to the sinful Episcopal Church of the United States.

Since 2006, Akinola has been the moving spirit behind the bill to ban same-sex marriage and relationships in Nigeria, a bill that has now been passed by the pious senators and awaits the assent of the righteous representatives. Those feverishly engaged in this diversionary moral warfare claim to be acting on behalf of an omnipotent God. The promise of rewarding everyone, homosexuals included, according to their deeds on judgement day is not enough for them. God is either too slow or too liberal or cannot be trusted. By the same token, God-the-Son, founder of the faith that they profess, is not to be heeded when he declines to rank sins, or when he commands his followers thus, “Judge not, that ye may not be judged,” warning that only the heavenly father who sees the innermost of hearts is fit for that office. Besides, “all our righteousness is like filthy rags.”

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Nigeria’s Wealthiest Pastor Oyedepo Faces Citizens Outrage For Assaulting A Female Church Goer

Nigeria’s wealthiest pastor, David Oyedepo, might not have bargained for the enormous scandal that followed a Youtube video which showed the famous pastor attack a teenage girl hushed in front of him during a 2009 Shiloh service at his church headquarters in Otta, Ogun state Southwest Nigeria.

SaharaReporters also posted the Youtube video, which has now gone viral and become a source of international anger against the man known as “Papa” by members of his large church.

Oyedepo is the general overseer of the Nigerian-based Winners Chapel which is also known as “Living Faith Church”.

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Witchcraft Branding, Spirit Possession And African Children By Leo Igwe

I just returned from a two day conference on Witchcraft Branding, Spirit Possession and Safeguarding African Children. The conference was organized in London by a UK based charity, Africans United Against Child Abused (AFRUCA).

The aim of the conference was to mobilize the faith communities against the practice of witchcraft branding by highlighting the negative impact of this phenomenon and the belief in spirit possession on African children in the UK and in Africa.

According to the organisers, ‘The conference will explore the issue of the branding children as witches in all its dimensions looking at different factors underlying the phenomenon, its impact, different policies and strategies to tackle this growing problem. A focus will be put on the importance of religious beliefs given the role the faith organisations can play in enforcing the recommendations that will come out of the conference’.

Personally I was fascinated by the theme of the conference. I was delighted to know that another international child rights NGO had taken up the fight against witch hunting in the region. For me the conference ‘s objective was a tall order. In fact  I had my doubts as to how far the conference could go in addressing this important topic. Because Africa is a deeply religious society. And very often, faith, dogma and tradition trump human rights whenever issues concerning Africa are discussed . Faith or better religion is at the root of most problems that plague the continent including that of witchcraft accusation. Sadly many Africans are reluctant to acknowledge this. Many more people in the region are unwilling to challenge religious doctrines, traditions and practices particularly when they conflict with reason, science and common sense. Many Africans do not want to question or be seen to be criticizing the dogmas of witchcraft belief. They often refrain from demanding evidence or proof of witchcraft claims. Many christians in Africa find justification for witchcraft related abuse in the bible which they believe to be the literal word of God.

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"Nigeria’s Millionaire Preachers" with Seyi Rhodes via Sahara Reporters

Journalist Seyi Rhodes of Channel 4’s Unreported World" reports on the illusive claims of prosperity preaching and the fabulous lifestyles of wealthy preachers in Nigeria.

Copyright Channel 4

Production Company - Quick Silver Media (United Kingdom) 

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