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Spate of Religious Propaganda

Spate of Religious Propaganda

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AS  more and more people are stepping away from religions due to technological break through and other sundry reasons,  religious leaders especially in under developed countries have found a powerful tool  in the media to  pop  up their faith.

IN Nigeria, leaders of faith particularly the pentecostalists have huge war chest and humongous budget on  publicity and media management.

THE campaign for souls and minds of the people is not by an accident  but a properly planned campaign to hear or view well packaged media messages  on Radio and Television stations across the country beamed every second to influence hapless people.

ORDINARILY, religion in its  pristine forms promote good conduct and ethical  values. Today,  religious content in the media which  assails  every home speaks of miracles, prosperity, prodigious healing and incredible soul winning antics. A thorough analysis of these media package reveals deceit, exploitation and rip off by some unscrupulous businessmen masquerading as religious leaders.

ONE thing is for sure, some heartless and unscrupulous religious leaders have capitalized on the gullible nature of our people to deceive and exploit  them in the name of God. Their radio, T.V. and newspaper advertisements are gaining more popularity because of the worsening economic situation in the country.  Unfortunately, these unscrupulous religious leaders smile to their banks, while members of the public are left worse from the encounter.

MANY of them live stupendous life style,  ride eye popping vehicles and customized aircrafts and above all, they are not accountable to anybody, and their accounts unaudited. They act as if the religious worship places belong to them and their families, contrary to the worthy examples of Jesus Christ and Mohammed  who lived, worked and  died for the  people.  In other words, the activities of these emergency miracle makers go against the doctrines of most religions.

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A critical evaluation of this sad development clearly shows that these religious leaders are merely preying  on the gullibility of the masses, the prevailing poverty plaguing the nation and the sad state of the nation’s  infrastructure. Many political leaders  who could have frowned on this situation are afraid of the political power subsumed by religion and powerful  influence of the diamond studded  tele-pastors. On the part of the religious leaders, their get-rich-quick mentality and rampant materialism run contrary to the religious doctrines they profess.

IT is hard to admit that bad governance   gave room for religious mercantilism but the absence of basic amenities has helped to promote  religious prosperity.  Many of the reasons that make people patronize these emergency miracle makers won’t be there if the nation has good medical facilities, goods roads, good schools and potable water supply. But since they’re not there, gullible, jobless and uneducated people fall prey to these unscrupulous religious leaders and their manipulative media.

THE HOPE condemns the unregulated advertisements in the name of religions. More worrisome is the proliferation of their    activities, with criminal-minded people joining their rank.

WE call on the government to regulate the activities of emergency miracle pastors and Imams on the media, as there should be some sanity in the sector. NBC can help in the matter by sanctioning TV and radio stations that support exploitation of the weak and the poor. The government should also evolve a policy about the criteria for establishing religious bodies, and their locations. A situation whereby twenty religious organisations are sited in just one street is fraught with danger. For example, the government  could enact laws to guide locations of some of the bodies, so law-abiding people are not disturbed by the noise that they make.

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THE HOPE believes many religious leaders are sincere in their activities, but we are only concerned with those who are using irreligious means to create wealth.

We believe churches and other religious organisations  should be taxed, since many of them are richer than business establishments, which pay tax. If business establishments and their foreign sponsors pay tax, why not churches?

TO restore the nation on the path of true righteousness, all stakeholders must focus on  salvation of souls rather than materialistic and other selfish interests.

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Spate of Religious Propaganda

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