Why should we fight in the name of religion? | Fola Daniel Adelesi, ASM, ACL, Wcc

Over the years we have reiterated the fact that the major religions of the world advocate peace and do not in any way encourage violence but the case in our societies is not the reflection of what we are preaching. From time to time you hear about churches and mosques being burnt and we still say that our religions do not support violence.

People have been killed in Jos, houses are being burnt in Kaduna, mysterious fire has burnt down places in Sokoto and there is no rational explanation for all the dastardly acts. Innocent people like corps members who have been brought into the National Youth Service Corps Scheme are being threatened and in some cases killed. At the end of the day, the only thing that the management of the scheme can do is to send a delegation to the family or parents of the deceased that that their child who came to serve his or her fatherland is now dead.

People who have to work in some northern parts of the country have to live in constant fear and dare not talk freely about the convictions of their religions even when they are not trying to buy someone else over. Others have been threatened in their places of work and some others have not been given a chance to even get a job when they are qualified simply because they do not belong to a religious sect.

What have we gotten ourselves into? Who are we really pleasing by killing people in a very enthusiastic manner? What is this myth about being rewarded by God if you kill some people in the name of a religious inclination? What kind of gods ask some of its creation to kill other creations?

We have clamoured for a free and fair election and in fairness to the Independent National Electoral Commission, this elections have been free and transparent because party agents were involved in vote counting and results were declared at each polling unit. Why do people have a problem accepting the fact their candidate has failed and go to court if they have grievances? We all have series of religious meetings and claim that we are worshipping God but we are killing ourselves on daily basis.

I am not sure I have all the questions that should get us thinking right now but one more question that I have is about the kind of leader whose supporters will go violent because of an election result that will not favour them. What kind of a leader is that man whose supporters will not mind killing people because he has lost in elections and cannot persuade his followers not to resort to jungle justice?

We all know that there is nowhere in the world where violence can restore a seemingly lost right. When you lose your right you can always seek redress in the court of law. We have tried that in this country and it has worked for us over the years. We have had situations where governors who were elected had their elections upturned by courts of law having been challenged by opposition.

We need to stop the religious brain washing that we are doing for our selfish interest which ultimately makes innocent people lose their lives. We now live in a society where some in the name of religion encourage our strong and vibrant youths to kill other people but the people who are encouraging them to kill do not have their children in endangered areas or places where the heat of the violence is on.

If we have a cause to fight, we should fight through the right channels and using the principles of non-violent resistance or seeking redress in court but we MUST stop engineering evil with the name of God and through the platforms of God.

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