“All my enemies must die in Jesus name, Amen!” We’ve all heard this kind of prayer. With all the poverty and frustration going on in Nigeria, our country has become increasingly religious. Sadly, most of it has taken the wrong and selfish turn like many things in Nigeria.

In 1999, after the sudden death of my beloved father, my mother decided it was a good idea to delve deeper into her “relationship” with God for protection. The events that took place after my father’s death was just like what they portray in Naija movies, I swear! We had the uncles come and “count” property, mother was accused of killing dad, family members tried to gather whatever “wealth” they thought we had, and the whole nine yards. So, naturally, in order to feel safe from “juju” my mother decided she would go to church more and “pray for her enemies.”

We went to this church (I won’t mention any names but it starts with ‘M’) and they prayed a lot that all our enemies will “fall down and die” (with vigor). While only 16 years of age and very angry at my father’s death, I couldn’t help but question the validity of that kind of prayer. I thought Jesus said we should pray FOR not against our enemies. These people practically justified their hateful hearts by saying, “Jesus meant that you should pray that God will punish them.” What? Where? Can’t I read?

And that is the problem with us today. We go to religious gatherings where they tell us what to believe. We refuse to search or do research for ourselves; we just go to these places to feel good about ourselves and then go home and continue to be the jerks we already were. No change of heart, no purity of the mind, nothing! We go and beg pastor to pray for us, like he has special powers. Did Jesus not say “if you ask anything in my name, it shall be given to you”? Even what I just quoted will not be checked. But we will eat it all the same. And no, I’m not a prude by any means. I used to be very religious. However, I’ve decided that the most important thing in life is to treat others how you want to be treated!

Another thing that kills me is the increasing amount of “prophets” that have arisen in Lagos (or Nigeria as a whole). What is wrong with these people? They tell you to pay them before they see “vision” for you. Seriously? And we too, like mumu, will quickly pay them so they will pray for us after they tell us their fake visions. It’s even these so called “pastors” that tell us to punish innocent kids, because they “look” like witches! Mothers abandon their children in the hands of a stranger believing that the innocent child is the cause of her misfortune. Brainwashed? Abso-freaking-lutely! This is another form of voodoo-ism (don’t care if that’s a word, you get my point). It’s just camouflaged as Christianity. By the way, where did Paul or Peter ask for money? In fact, when Elisha went behind Elijah’s back to take the gifts Elijah rejected, he was cursed with Leprosy. Jesus himself, did not take or ask for gifts when he performed miracles. These idiotic “pastors” have even spread their bad news all the way here. Some of us send them money all the way from America to Nigeria, so they can pray for us to get that promotion, or that wife/husband, or child that we want. Wake up!

It’s honestly funny how we’re one of the most religious nations on planet earth, but we ourselves are the most hateful people. Where is your religion? What is the point? Why sweet talk your God, if you don’t plan on praying for and forgiving your enemies, or being happy when your brother succeeds? Have you ever thought for one second, that it’s the bad you’ve done to others that is coming back to hunt you? Have you ever considered that maybe, just maybe your bad character is messing up your marriage (and not your mother in-law) or maybe you just simply married a jerk? And then we will post on our facebook status about how “God is good O”, and try to thank him for the things he has done (as if to attempt to convince him that we care). Look, if your religion is not making a real difference in your character and the way you treat people, maybe it’s time you seek something else (like counselling). Thank God my mother finally left that church!