We walked past the United States Embassy on our way to a friend’s home in the environs of Gigiri. That was the first time I had been to those sides. I recalled how shaken the world was when, on 7th August 1998, almost simultaneously there occurred bomb explosions at the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam killing 224 people, wounding 5000 others. I thought of how Osama had the guts to take on the world’s superpower’s embassies in two neighboring countries. As if that wasn’t damaging enough, he orchestrated the deadliest attack in the history of the US in 2001 at the World Trade Center in New York; at the Pentagon in Washington and Shanks Ville, Pennsylvania. He was the leader of the militant Sunni Islamist extremist organization. He was quite a chivalrous guy of his time.
“Chief, are we ever going to live in such suburban environs?” Mike questioned so pessimistically drawing me away from the splendor and valor I had credited Osama and his terrorist sect.
“Why not bro!” I answered ignoring the negative energy with which he had asked that question.
I then began explaining to him how religious sects could turn out to be very deadly and he did not seem to care.
I found so much truth in this statement from a popular religious website, “Religion can be understood largely as an attempt of a group of individuals to understand existential questions based on a set of cultural practices specific to that group. Sometimes, these practices may not seemingly conform to our normal expectations from a ‘religion’. But they succeed in fulfilling what is expected of a religion-uniting people because of the belief they may share.”
We arrived at our destination proximal to the Portuguese and Columbian embassies. I found it cool being neighbors to several embassies. That is the safest place one could live.
The jubilation that graces graduation parties was no less than it usually is. Our entrance was barely noticed due to the numerous ‘important’ people present. We, Africans, have a way of salutation that we ensure our hands meet and vigorously shake other as if estimating the strength in each other’s flexors and extensors.
Two particular ladies responded in a rather strange manner when Mike and I stretched our hands in a bid to say hello to them. Instead of extending their hands towards us, they responded by lifting their hands and clapping almost endlessly. We were left wondering what we were being lauded for. Perhaps the Ankara we had each worn, that we seldom wore. Or maybe our elegant nature that is usually praised by most of our colleagues. Or better yet, our courteous nature of holding the right hand with the left as we greeted everybody else, a practice we had learned in our respective primary schools.
Unbeknown to us, the ladies were from a religious affiliation associated with Legio Maria, Roho Nomiya and Fweny. They do not respond to greetings by shaking hands. Instead, they clap as a way of saying “hello”. I found that amusing. Mike and I learned a new greeting henceforth between ourselves.
Oblivious to all of us, there exists a religion named Church of Euthanasia where its principle is in rising against the evil of exponential population growth. The birth of this church resulted from the constant increase in the human population and a simultaneous decrease in morals. The sole commandment of this church is, “Thou shall not procreate.” Their slogan is, “Save the Planet, Kill Yourself.” This religion became most famous after putting up the video, “I Like to Watch” post 9/11. The video showed hardcore porn and the footage of 9/11 side by side.
As if that is not absurd enough, there exists another called Iglesias Maradoniana that prays to the legend of football, Maradona. Fans of Diego Maradona started a religion for him in the year 1998 and has grown to a membership of more than a million followers in more than sixty countries. It is popular among the fans of this religion, the use of the neo-Tetragrammaton D10S as one of the names of Maradona: D10S is a portmanteau word which fuses 10 (Diez in Spanish), Maradona’s shirt number, and Dios, the Spanish word for god.
Such and 4,200 other more religions exist in the world today. I am persuaded beyond a reasonable doubt that only one of them is the true religion and that it ought to be followed and adhered to by every one of us. Religion’s most sought after secret therefore, is the true religion.
Here are pointers to the true religion:
-It must be a truly international and worldwide organization. Any other religion confined to specific regions is not the true religion.
-True religion must be one that is gospel-centered. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the basic foundation of the Bible. A religion advocating for any other doctrine apart from righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ is not a true religion.
-True religion advocates for the keeping of all the commandments of God.
-True religion must have the gift of prophesying, including the beginning of judgment in the year 1844.
-True religion that God accepts as pure and faultless is charitable in looking after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
The graduation party was one of a kind. For the first time in my life, I had a taste of Nigeria’s infamous jollof rice. I met one of the famous guys of the top 40 under 40 in Kenya. He was gracious enough to give me Biko Zulu’s number (who apparently ascribes to the same religion as I) after he realized I had an amusement for his work and had a keen interest in writing.
On our way out after heartily congratulating the graduate, we remembered to clap in the air as we bade the ladies from Legio Maria goodbye.
“A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain.