Sunday, 18 May 2014

#SundayTalk: Religiosity

image gotten from Wikipedia
Did you know religiosity was a word? I did not. I stumbled on it recently while I was doing some research. Curious, I looked it up and found some really interesting things, like the picture above.

"Religiosity, in its broadest sense, is a comprehensive sociological term used to refer to the numerous aspects of religious activity, dedication, and belief (religious doctrine). Another term that would work equally well, though less often used, is religiousness." - Wikipedia.

In 2009, Gallup published their global religiosity index. The lighter shade of green represents the intensity of the religiousness of a location and the darker shade of green, the opposite.

Can you see that the entire African continent is Lemon Green? Is it also a coincidence that this same continent has the most embarrassing development indices in the world?

The countries with darker shades of green are mostly 2nd and 1st world countries. In everything we do, we try to emulate them; their culture, their lifestyle, their inventions. We use them as a benchmark when making positive comparisons. One would think that prosperity and growth will pitch its tent with countries that appear to be closer to God?

I have come to understand why Africa is the way it is. We go through the motions, the effect of our relationship with God only visible on the outside - bumper stickers with prophetic declarations promising all sorts, bibles the size of DVD players, sermons and gospel music playing all the way to work and back. We are religious all the way to the government - they ask us to pray for the safe return of the abducted girls; the first lady affirms that there is God; yet, the system continuously frustrates the truly upright. 

 Africa is a continent that is yet to grasp the concept of personal responsibility and how it drives innovation and change. Religion remains an excuse for mediocrity and incompetence, it serves as a tool for manipulation and coercion. Until it becomes something more, until it truly transforms, we will remain a bright shade of green while the world around us reeks of backwardness.

©Naomi Lucas

No comments: