Zero Religious Responsibility
A two-mile road exists in my little town of Orodo — a stretch that has churches littered on both sides and has over time, given the almighty God, multiple residences in Orodo. This short distance boast of five cathedral-style churches and tens of other mushroom denominations fighting for prime estate, sandwiched between religious giants — the Catholic church from the Ubaha axis and the Anglican diocese holding forth towards Nkwo-Orodo.
A two-mile road exists in my little town of orodo — a stretch that is a mirror image of today's rot in society. A stretch that shows the realities of today's decay and neglect, with dilapidating roads and crumbling social infrastructure conspicuous in every nook and cranny — one that was a total deviant from messages of prosperity, hope, shared joy, and numerous testimonies of goodness in those houses of God.
A two-mile road exist in my little town, one that had not felt any attention from any government of the day but rather had borne the burden of the sweat and toils of its citizens. A stretch with ramshackle schools, run-down hospitals, lack-luster markets, non-functional amenities, and pot-holes that one could say had tormented its citizens, broken their backs, ruined the bicycle spokes, mangled motorcycle sprockets, punctured car tires, damaged shocks, and bushings, muddled white and yellow school shirts, lost earnings from fallen produce.
A stretch of this road exist in my little town — one could say for sure benefitted only the religious outfits, given the numerous signages that dot the main road, given the increasing numbers of blaring speakers, given the people's fervent prayers, given their numerous burnt offerings, given the numerous journeys on that road, through the main doors to contribute their miserly tithes— year in, year out.
God in his wisdom bestowed great resources on the church, mandating them to share from the commonwealth of her resourcefulness with the community as an expression of faith through action while contributing to nation-building by improving the lives of those in the community.
The religious bodies have zero religious responsibility in Orodo. They have simply abdicated that singular job given by God — if for nothing else, be the answer to some prayers of the community.
A road in my village had thousand and one religious missions yet no immediate or visible impact has been registered in recent times. There were schools that the churches could have collaborated in some sort to provide succor, there were the town unions that they could have joined hands with in understanding ways to ease the suffering of the people, there were exiting skill acquisition programs that they would have jumped upon, a dilapidating road that they would have also helped in rebuilding, a health center that laid moribund could have attracted sympathy from the Vatican or England. We have had lots of hungry and sick people, who needed love from this bevy of religious bodies, who had been neglected at the expense of the body of Christ.
As I watched the homeless eat nicely made home-grown meals in those mean streets of Los Angeles, I cannot but thank God for the religious bodies that made it possible. As I watched a handful stand outside the catholic missions, a shelter for the homeless, I cannot but agree that God worked through men. As I walked past the mobile washrooms, catering to the rough and scruffy, one cannot help but thank those minds that remembered the downtrodden — daily. As for those that constantly clothed, gave haircuts, groomed, and provided basic needs for the needy and downcast, the rewards were surely in heaven.
There is zero religious responsibility in Orodo. The church in my little town is rapidly becoming enmeshed in strictly spiritual crusades and wanton heaven pursuits that they have systematically neglected the poor and fastened the structural decay of the communities. The art of commitment to the cry of the poor in Orodo is now a thing of the past, the love for giving back has been traded for a spiritual cuisine. The portion that is reserved for the underprivileged in the society is long forgotten and what we have left was the lack of ethical reciprocity to the environment wasted under the excuse of ignorance and unresponsiveness on the part of the church.
The community is simply not getting its reward for loyalty from these churches, they simply exist as numbers who must be counted during church levies, they exist as part of the congregation who must be maintained to keep the diocese and clergy running, they are mere pawns who must be played in order to foster the gospel.
I wonder — why can't they copy the western missions and become our prayers answered.
The Church needs to play a part in Orodo “Maka na ike agwula dibia uwa”