By Clement Tyav
Religion is as old as man himself. The consciousness of a man’s sense of religious loyalty begins when he began to believe in something rather than himself. A child who is born believes in his or her parents, which become his religion until he discovers something bigger than his parents. In effect, we can say everyone HAS or BELONG to a religion of some sort.
A true religion has followers, norms, values, a motivating factor or point of attraction and is able to affect the conduct of its followers either positively or negatively. The commitment of the follower however depends on personal conviction and strength of character.
There are so many religions in the world, but I will be focusing my write-up on those I consider the four most powerful religions in the world. And what are those four most powerful religions that are capable of correcting the social ills in today’s complex society?
These religions are Christianity, Entertainment, Islam and Sports. How I list them is by no means how powerful they are, but just by their ascending character order.
CHRISTIANITY is a religion to others and a way of life to some. It is a religion of peace hinged on the person and character of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world and God’s only son. You may choose to believe it or ignore it; but what you believe matters most to you.
Christianity as a religion has billions of followers across the globe. Its grip on her followers is unprecedented. This makes it a vital tool that can create a change with a massive effect on the society. The reverend fathers, pastors, evangelists, apostles, brothers, sisters and all the titles that represent leadership in Christendom has a major role in directing what become of our society on a daily basis.
It behooves on all Christian leaders especially, that your lifestyle, words, actions and the message you dish out to your congregation is geared towards creating a peaceful society for all to live in. Your action and inaction can build or destroy your immediate environment, which may lead to the larger society.
So let your lives speak to your followers so much than your words knowing that you will not only be correcting the ills in the society but you’ll be rewarded by your Maker at the end of your journey here on earth.
ENTERTAINMENT may not be considered to some as a religion, but I consider it as a religion due to its massive effect on the conduct of people and the role it plays in shaping the society.
The entertainment refers to here include the music and film industries. This is a religion in religions. Music and films are enjoyed by both Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Atheist and every other religion. So it is a religion in religions. There is no where on earth this religion has no followers.
The music and film industries have contributed in no small measure in the society we find ourselves in. What is practically demonstrated on the street of our cities today comes from one film or musical scene. It is a creation of our imagination manifesting on our society.
If the key players in the entertainment industry decide to take another path with the intention of correcting many societal ills we are experiencing today, in the next ten years we will have a society we will all be proud of.
ISLAM, a religion anchored on Prophet Mohammed (SAW) is known to be a religion of peace. There is no place on earth that there is no Muslim. This entails that, it has a wide followership that is capable of turning the direction of our society in the right way if those who pilot its affairs choose to.
Most religions practiced the world over, their founding fathers had peaceful disposition towards their intentions but some of their followers comes in with different ideologies, which are detrimental to the peaceful coexistence of the followers and non-followers alike. This is what has befallen Islam today.
The fact that extremism has invaded Islam has not changed its status as a religion of peace. The Muslim leaders have a pivotal role in directing the conduct of their followers to ensure a peaceful and harmonious society.
SPORTS as a religion just like entertainment are religions infused in religion as their followers are crossbreed followers. They do not belong to them alone but to other religions as well. What a revolving spiral that can revolutionalized the way our society operates.
Sports draw large followership. In fact, it is the only religion that can bring two warring parties together under one roof without issue especially in Nigeria. So if we can draw on its unifying strength, we can be doing a lot of good in correcting many societal ills holding us captive.
There will always be men and women who will choose to follow the wrong path in our society. But overall, if majority of us and the key major religion listed above choose to do things right, the social ills which has become a “normal” way of life will not walk our street.
We all have a role to play in correcting these societal ills that has befallen us. There is none of us reading this that does not belong to one or two of the above religion. Ask yourself, ‘what has been my conduct over the years?’ ‘Has it been affecting the society negatively or positively?’
Let your answer be your guiding principle henceforth as we all work towards attaining a peaceful and harmonious society without social ills.