Stop the Religious madness in Africa!

In November 1978, more than 900
people, including 304 children, lost
their lives in the jungles of South
America through the acts and actions
of Rev. Jim Jones. The American
faith leader had relocated his Peoples
Temple with its congregation from the
U.S. to Jonestown, Guyana, from the
prying eyes of U.S. authorities. The parishioners
died through mass murder
and suicide.

In February 1993, a 51-day siege at
the Branch Davidian movement in
Waco, Texas, by the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, and Firearms ended in the
death of 76 members of the sect, including
20 children, two pregnant
women, and the leader David Koresh.

In contemporary Africa, religious
mass murder and/or suicide have not
come to pass, but if current trends are
anything to go by, it will surprise no
one should it happen. For the past several
years lots of religious sects, especially
from the Christian world, have
sprouted and bloomed in Africa like
spring mushrooms. Begun modestly
and with few memberships, some of
these churches have grown in leaps
and bounds and have branches outside
of their countries of origin. A substantial
number of their parishioners are
people of substance, dignity, respect,
and admirable pedigree. These one-man
megachurches are a stark contrast
from traditional orthodox churches
and have won converts from the latter.
By virtue of the quality of their
parishioners, their financial standings
are relatively healthy. Some contribute
and help – directly or indirectly

– in national development in their own
We at Amandla have no problem
whatsoever with well-established religious
bodies, especially those with
presumed enlightened congregations.

Our beef is with the charlatans that
masquerade as “men of God” and
pounce on the weak, vulnerable, hopeless,
and frustrated. Their modus operandi
is to don a priestly garb, arrange
with equally crooked inner circle people,
and start a “crusade” where a person
feigning lameness, blindness, or
any visible sickness would be “prayed
for and healed.” Some are bold enough
to even “resurrect” the dead. They have
no shame to hoodwink and butt heads
within and among family and friends
through false prophecies. They would
intimidate, threaten, and fleece the
poor and ignorant for their comfortable

These clowns bestow on themselves
religious titles and accolades such
as archbishops, bishops, evangelists,
prophets, pastors, and priests. Sadly,
many know next to nothing about the
Bible and quote wildly and wrongly to
their equally ignorant congregations.
In South Africa, a congregation was
made to graze on grass in order to “be
closer to God.” Elsewhere, some were
made to drink Dettol and bleach as
“blood of Jesus.”
Non-Africans are joining in the fray
of religious fraud. Sam Little, a British
man, and two indigenes were arrested
in Western Uganda for allegedly
distributing a “miracle solution”

containing bleach to villagers and
churchgoers. The solution was marketed
and peddled as a cure for HIV/
AIDS, malaria, and other diseases.
In Ghana as in several African countries,
women are potential targets of
these male-dominated fraternities.
Women have been bathed, thrown
about, and even trampled upon all
in the name of Jesus and Christian
rites. Not long ago, a “man of God”
who claimed to have not showered for
about a week immersed and rinsed
himself – with only his boxers – in a
barrel full of water. The “ritualized”
water was then fed to seekers and believers.
The night of December 31 has
become a prophecy day for several
self-styled men of God. They prophesy
impending deaths of movers and shakers
of the country, election results, potential
calamities that hang upon the
country, etc. Conspicuously absent are
prophecies that would help improve the lives of their ordinary congregants.

Amandla thinks it is about time
African governments monitor and
clamp down on errant doomsday “men
of God.” Rwanda has set the pace by
closing down hundreds of churches for
failing to comply with regulations, including
noise pollution.
Recently, a court of law in Ghana
ruled against a church for noise pollution.
Amandla believes the efforts
should be extended countrywide
and with lightning speed. In a country
where religious places of worship
are more numerous than hospitals
and schools combined, Parliament
must effectively pass sweeping legislation
to stem the get-rich-quick attitude
rip-offs and nuisances caused by
these convoluted practices. Not only
do they dupe individuals, but they rip
the country off by paying no taxes and
contributing nothing towards national

Posted by on Jan 11 2020. Filed under Editorial, top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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