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Che Sunday J.

On reading this article I come away with the perception that Rev. Foleng fails to make a distinction between religion and christianity. When a traditional leader or village head pours libations to get an ocasion started, does that qualify as a religious act? The answer to this question is critical because our thinking, especially Africans seems to to have gotten stock in a time warp where the word religion is religated to the major religions of the world. In Bafut for example,just before christmas, there is the fon of Bafut's dance. Several weeks before the dance, a sacred shrine (Nifoh) which happens to be a water fall is visited by traditional priests to offer sacrifices. The gifts of various oitments, such as calmwood, chalk etc are offered. Until this is done, the traditional dance will not take place. Does this qualify as as a religious act, or in christian terminolgy continues to be seen as worshiping "false Gods and idols?" We must not fail to take into consideration that christianity and other forms of religion such as Islam did not come to other parts of the world as unadulterated teachings from the heavens. They were infused with traditions from their respective points of origin.Islam for example took the biblical pronouncements of multiply and filling the earth to its very letter, thus enshrining polygamy in its teachings. Why, their numbers were few. The Mormons or what is known today as "Church of Jesus Christ of later Day Saints also adopted polygamy to increase its numbers. The bible had nothing in its teaching against polygamy, but Europeans, running out of space and trying to control population growth outlawed polygamy and and had it reinforced by religion. Christinity had a hard time selling in Africa, but deviced an ingenous mechanism to gain acceptance. It took the lead in African development, (it built schools, hospitals, orphanges and clinics.) This was too good for anyone to pass up. It is still in the forefront in these developmental areas. It is hard to argue with its track record. Where it has failed woefully is its continue lack of respect for local institution. Case in point, the quifon is still refered to as a secret society. There is nothing secretive about it. A closer look at quifon reveals that it is the only institution where a sitting fon or chief is not a member. Why? In the olden days, the chiefs and fons had absolutely power, including that of life and death. To forestall excessive use or abuse of such power, quifon had to be created. The fons were allowed to appoint no more than one sibbling from each family within his numerous wives to become a member of quifon. They then serve as their father's mouthpiece in deliberations concerning affairs of state. But early christian teaching required locals whom were members of quifon to give up their memberships to become christians.
I find it hard to farthom an ocassion of any significance where by some form religion is not envoked to enhance its success. Be it christianity, Islam or traditional. God in his infinite wisdom created everything, and within that mix, gave each and everyone and avenue to communicate with him regardless of the nomenclature signifying that entity.

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