Nigeria, August 17, 2008
Africans should find their god in their own way
Nigeria is of two religions, mostly. In the south, its very Christian while in the north is mostly Muslim. This historical split represents the original foreign trading partners of each region - Europe for the southern coasts and the Middle East for the northern interior.
While there is some grumbling that the country should be split in two or that the poor north takes too much largess from the rich south, in general, Nigerians of all faiths get along like an old married couple. Well, if not without nitpicking and an occasional joke or tiff.
Then into this mix comes religious interlopers like Reinhard Bonnke. The leader of his Christ for All Nations ministry, Reinhard could be seen as an instigator of religious disagreements in what is usually a reasonable relationship between Christians and Muslims.
From my video of his welcoming parade you might think he was the Second Coming himself:
But do not be fooled by the celebrations of the crowd. I have seen the same level of joy and celebration at non-secular events too, even Togo's National Run to the Border Day - which has nothing to do with religion. Africans just love an excuse to party.
Still, if Reinhard Bonnke's Christ for All Nations Ministry was just about a party, I would not be concerned. But when random Germans find disgust in being asked if they are associated with Reinhard Bonnke, I have to think this man is not good for Nigeria or Nigerians. Sometimes its best to let Africans find God in their own way on their own time.