Don’t Stifle The African Voices… BY AGBA JALINGO

In Breaking News, Opinion

From when you wake up in the morning, part of your morning prayer menu is to abuse African deities, bind and cast them, and call them derogatory names, you don’t remind yourself that you have to worship your own God and not disrespect other people’s God.

In your weekly and Sunday services in Church, the choir starts your praise and worship with songs that denigrate and disrespect African deities, yet you won’t tell yourself that you have to worship your own God and not disrespect other people’s God.

In your prayers in the Church, the loudest shouting comes when the prayer point is about binding African ancestral spirits. You usually don’t bind European or American ancestral spirits. It is only African ancestors that you bind and lose. Yet, our ancestors are not different from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that you venerate. Still, you won’t remind yourself that you have to worship your own God and not disrespect other people’s God.

In your sermons by preachers, you call African traditional worshippers, the heathen of stone age. You call African deities worthless and lifeless. You disrespectfully ascribe inanities to African spirituality but forget to tell yourself that you have to worship your own God and not disrespect other people’s God.

You go about day and night knocking on doors of tolerant Africans to tell them how useless their God is and threaten them that if they don’t accept your own God, they will perish in hell, yet you won’t tell yourself that you have to worship your own God and not disrespect other people’s God.

The whole crux of evangelism simply means, discrediting other religions, (particularly African Traditional Worship), presenting your own as the best, leaving a subtle threat of Hell Fire if your message is rejected, and swell your numbers, yet you won’t tell yourself that you have to worship your own God and not disrespect other people’s God.

Some religious houses have more than 200 derogatory names for African deities. They even have diploma courses in demonic exorcism that deceive their followers on how to cast out African demons and deities, yet you won’t tell yourself that you have to worship your own God and not disrespect other people’s God.

In Ilorin, the Muslims are telling Africans that they cannot practice their African religion in their homeland, yet you won’t tell yourself that you have to worship your own God and not disrespect other people’s God.

In indigenous African communities, sacred worship shrines are labeled and destroyed with impunity by others without retribution, yet you won’t tell yourself that you have to worship your own God and not disrespect other people’s God.

From newspapers to radio, to TV to the Internet, African Traditional Worshippers are buffeted daily with hostility, disdain, and see-finish by zealots of foreign religious dogma, for daring to be Africans. These captives of caprice, all want Africans to believe God only through their own lenses or all of us will go to hell fire, yet you won’t tell yourself that you have to worship your own God and not disrespect other people’s God.

From the 11th century till this morning, African Traditional Worshippers have been told that they were an accident of creation and that until they subjugate themselves to foreign religious dogma, they will end up in fire. But unlike others, not once have they gone to war with anyone for continuing to throw that insult at them.

But the moment African worshippers find their voice and begin to tell these same people how detestable some of their own teachings are, they are quick to shout, “worship your own God and allow others to worship their own.” Why do you seek what you cannot give? They are swift in crying foul. They cannot stand what they do to African religions and worshippers. They are deficient in the courage to see themselves in the mirror.

But it is time for us to regain our confidence. Indeed, we are no longer slaves to the fear that foreign religious dogma has groomed in our hearts and throughout our lives. Until you stop telling me there is something wrong with African spirituality and I must accept your own before I can reach God, I will not stop to defend myself and point out the lies in what you are telling me. Do not stifle the African voices. Stop telling me to leave you alone when you have refused to leave me alone.

There is nothing wrong with African spirituality. I know that for a fact. We are simply not allowed to breathe and grow.

Citizen Agba Jalingo is the Publisher of CrossRiverWatch and a rights activist, a Cross Riverian, and writes from Lagos.

NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.

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