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Religious hatred and intolerance

sundayword BY PROSPER TINGINI

I am deeply saddened by some senseless events across the globe where acts of massacres have been committed in the name of religion.

My heart continues to bleed at the levels of hatred and intolerance exhibited by some religious fanatics. Some extremist religious views consider it as if it’s a sin to belong to any other religion except their own. Religious vigilante groups are being formed solely for the purpose of atrocious acts against people of other religions. I mourn in grief.

Christians and Moslems constitute the majority of the religious groups on planet earth.

A minority but very significant Jewish religion is also intricately intertwined in the religious conflicts, having many times been earmarked for total eradication.

Deranged fanatics the likes of Adolf Hitler clearly come to the fore. Is it a sin to be born either
Christian, Moslem or Jewish?

I was born a Christian not by choice but through the religious demography of the world. I happened to come into this world in a predominantly
Christian community and country.

It automatically followed that I was raised as a child on strict Christian principles which I had to adhere to. There was no choice to it. There were no other significant religions close to us then.

We were living in a religiously single closed circuit.

I had to be Christian; and the buck stopped there.

This is what many other people are faced with.

If you are born in a Moslem community, you are also most likely to follow same route.

Statistics indicate that Christianity is the world’s dominant religion constituting around 30% of the world’s population. Islam (Muslims) comprises around 25%. Those who have no particular religion, including atheism, roughly take up 15%. Other various minority groups, including the Jews, comprise the other 30%. Yet, if you bring the Christians,
Moslems and Jews together, they all worship the same God, the Allah, the Jehovah. Sadly what then divides them is the medium for worship. Christians believe that we should all worship God through Jesus Christ. In the same token, Moslems believe Jesus was just one of the many prophets and that the true and last messenger of God is Mohammed. That’s their channel.

The Jews believe Moses is their torchbearer and the greatest prophet and medium between God and the people. Moses led them from captivity in Egypt into the Promised Land.

If all the religions were to remove the mediums for worship, we would all find ourselves in one place, all of us in the one house of the Almighty God, the one and only. What a shame religion unnecessarily divides itself before the same one God. We massacre and mutilate each other in the name of religion, despite all of us believing in the one entity.

It is also not in dispute that all these three religions trace their roots to the same ancestry, that of Abraham. We all share the same Abrahamic roots and the same Heavenly
Father, the Almighty. Regrettably it is the diversions of our channels for worship that has brought about religious conflict and divided God’s Kingdom on earth.

Religion is a system of belief based on the worship of something or someone supernatural. It not only conscientiously affects societies at large, but also the political landscape in the world we live in. Very often, people’s customary traditions are moulded around their religious beliefs.

While we can attempt to separate politics from religion, the fact is these two will always mingle together.

That is why we currently have wars being fought in the Middle East which include radical groups like ISIS (Islamic state extremist group) who are very religious in nature.

We also have other vigilante elements like Boko Haram, (anti-Western education radicals) who are unilaterally taking it upon themselves to enforce their own religions on other citizens.

There are also other disjointed religious groups who are constantly attacking and bombing targets across the world in the name of some kind of a religious Jihad, or whatever the case and name of it.

I believe that religious problems should involve religious leaders, yet there is generally a deafening silence from the majority of the religious leadership when heinous acts of extreme wickedness are committed in the name of religion.

It would seem our religious leaders want to leave it to the politicians to sort out the mess. A people’s culture is based upon its spirituality.

The spiritual figureheads often direct people on what to do and what not to do. Their teachings have a direct bearing on the behaviours of their followers.

They should be accountable for their follower’s actions and they should never be taken out of the equations on trying to find solutions to religious intolerance.

We teach people that our own religion is the right religion and that any other belief is wrong, satanic or devious in nature.

We implant hatred of other religious into our followers.

We teach them to kill in the name of our own belief. We plant the seeds of intolerance across religions, by condemning others, thus sowing the deep-rooted divisions among ourselves.

Thousands of lives are being lost every year due to a divided earthly Kingdom of God. Brother is fighting brother, endlessly killing and maiming each other. An avalanche of refugees running away from religiously inclined wars across the globe is now the order of the day. For how long will children of the same God continue to butcher and mutilate each other? It grieves me to my heart.

While it is very evident that most world conflicts are of a religious origin, political and military solutions only seem to be at play. Why are our religious leaders watching all this from a distance? It is them who have implanted those extremist ideologies into the minds of their followers. We need a religious solution this problem, not a military or political solution. Religious doctrines often crafted through some misinterpretations of scriptures have perverted human minds. One religion no longer tolerates the other.

Let’s educate our followers to live in harmony with one another.

Does it mean to the Christians that if one is not a Christian you will not go to heaven? Does it mean that if one is not Muslim they will be cast out of the gates of heaven.

The Jews are known as the “chosen people”, but it does not follow that all non-Jews are not children of God.

We are all one people who serve one God. Our entry into heaven will not be determined by the religion we follow but by our service to the Almighty and by our actions and good deeds on earth.

Prosper Tingini is the President of the Children of God Missionary Assembly. Registration in progress for those who wish to undertake Bible Studies or train as Ministers of Religion. Contact 0771 260 195 or email: ptingini@gmail.com

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