Proliferation of Churches Essay

5288 Words Feb 15th, 2011 22 Pages
European Journal of Scientific Research ISSN 1450-216X Vol.45 No.4 (2010), pp.649-657 © EuroJournals Publishing, Inc. 2010

Proliferation of Churches: A Leeway to Commercialization of Religion
Anthonia M. Essien Department of Religious and Cultural Studies Faculty of Arts, University of Uyo, Nigeria E-mail: Tel: +234(0)8033596961 Abstract This paper posits that religion has become a top bracket business in Nigeria. This is occasioned by the agglomeration of autonomous, non-centralized, independent and illegally established religious movements in Nigeria. This situation favours commercialization of religion. Although the founders and leaders postulate spiritual reasons for the
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The mad craze for money has made some people willing to commercialize religion for their own benefits and interests. Many vulnerable people have fallen into the trap of this unholy merchandize. This paper therefore focuses on the various aspects of commercialization of religion as experienced in Nigerian today particularly among the Christians. An attempt is made to trace tendencies of commercialization of religion through the history of Christianity. Solutions are proffered also in this paper for the impasse of this irreverent trade.

2. Manipulation of Religion
A detailed survey of the effects of religion in human society according to N.S Xavier’s observation in his book, The Two faces of Religion, A Psychiatrist’s View: is that religion has a tremendous power both to heal and to harm5. On the positive side, religion has led to great achievements in the history of humanity. In Nigeria for instance, religious groups and organizations led the foundation for formal education that ushered in the era of Western Civilization. In the health and philanthropic sector, the contribution of religion cannot be overemphasized. A lot has been done by religious groups in these areas. It is to be noted that certain “aspects of religion enable people to be compassionate, truthful, disciplined, understanding, peace loving, responsible, creative and open minded”6. However, in the history of humanity, religion has been experienced as one of the easy and ready tools that can be

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