Malcolm X once accused the Whiteman Christianity for being responsible for sustaining slavery and segregation for many years. He was almost completely correct. Slavery has long been part of history, all civilizations had it, from the Egyptian Civilization to Western Civilization. It was the Western Civilization, which was founded on Judeo-Christian Worldview that found it morally wrong and ended slavery as we know. Not only that, it embarked on a worldwide crusade to make sure other non-western nations involved in slavery ended it. At the fore front of this were the Christian Missionaries, from William Wilbeforce to Frederick Douglas to millions of others.
But Malcolm X argument is not without some support. The Christian teachings of love your neighbor as yourself, turning the other cheek, and heaven influenced the slaves so much that it became difficult to resist slavery and racism itself. The mindsets of blacks, especially within the US had to change remarkably before the Civil Rights was achieved. Christianity had the tendency to make any of its adherents so calm, often to a fault.
Why is this important? It is the gimmicks that Christian are currently employing in other to avoid the #EndSars protest. Christianity is a religion that has always stood against any form of oppression. It has actively been on the side of the oppressed. Across history, Christians have manifested their beliefs against oppression by behaving in extremely irrational ways and ensuring that oppression is fought. There’s no place for conservatism against oppression. Bishop Desmond Tutu has said that “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”.
For those calling for prayers ALONE, I would like to remind you that it was the same thing that many generations of slaves did. It is the same thing that we have done even here! Is it good? Yes. But prayer alone does not win political results. The determination of political outcomes have been left to the political calculations that any set of people can develop. If Martin Luther King and all the other Civil Rights Leaders had prayed alone, we will not be here. If Frederick Douglas and all the abolitionist had prayed alone, slavery would not have ended.
Most Christians around here love President Donald Trump, but we seem to not know that it was majorly the evangelical voting bloc that made Trump President, without the strong support he has received within the evangelical block, Trump will not be President. They use their pulpits to decry the social ills they’ve seen in America, they use their social media to make their opinion known, they attend political rallies, and they ensure to make their voices known through action, votes! What does this tell us? Bringing socio-political change requires more than prayers. It requires action. 40% of Nigeria’s population is Christian, if we cannot use our numbers to determine effective political actions, we are failing the very men who brought Christianity to this part of the world and we will apologize to the many who created affected the political circumstances to make Christianity possible in these regions!
We can keep praying but also important, it’s time for direct action! Your tweet, your post, your writing, your social media, your presence, your wealth are all weapons needed in this battle. There’s no time to do otherwise.
“Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream” Amos 5:24
In fact, because of Nigeria’s religious inclinations, we can actually harness prayer to become a powerful tool in our arsenal against oppression. One time tensions were high, King was leading a group of protesters to Montgomery, if the protestors March into Montgomery they will be attacked. King led the protesters through major bridge linking the two places, they knelt down, prayed and turned back. It was symbolic, prayer was used to calm the protesters and at the same time, they had crossed the bridge into the city but did not go deep enough to cause trouble. NO NIGERIAN POLICE WILL TOUCH A GROUP OF PRAYING PROTESTERS MARCHING TO THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OR ANY PUBLIC PLACE.
By Lengdung Tungchama