Africa is regarded as the most religious and God-fearing continent. One would be tempted to think, therefore, that God would reward the continent with bountiful resources so that Africans live in prosperity.
Just as a master rewards a hard-working servant with bonuses at the end of the year, God should have spoiled the continent with abundant resources to enable Africans lead decent and comfortable lives.
Ironically, it is the poorest continent, with its occupants surviving on food and other handouts from continents regarded as least God-fearing such as Europe and America.
On the other hand, all atheist countries have high standards of living. Western countries that have developed have abandoned religion and are still developing.
Additionally, China is the fastest developing economy in the world, yet atheism is high in the country.
This begs a set of questions: Does God really exist? If he does, why isn’t he concerned with the suffering of the people who are tirelessly serving and glorifying him day and night?
Could there be something missing in the relationship between Africa and God?
Secular humanist George Thindwa said this shows that the existence of the creator is a mere dogma and those praying for his intervention are simply wasting their time.
Thindwa challenged that as long as Africa clings to the idea that God exists, the continent will not achieve meaningful social and economic transformation.
He said the continent can never develop with religion because faith breeds followers and not doers.
“Religion promotes dogma, judgment and close-mindedness. This is why Africans need not waste their precious time with religion. Instead, we need to invest our time in working for ourselves. That way, Africa will develop,” said Thindwa at a public debate recently.
But a Mangochi-based Catholic, Ernest Kadzokoya, said it is wrong to measure the existence of God against the level of affluence a continent has amassed.
Kadzokoya argued that the creator has his own reason for allowing the ungodly to flourish at the expense of God-fearing people.
“Whatever happens has a reason that God wants to fulfil and Africans must not shy away from him on the premise of their want. Some of the wealth we are envying doesn’t come from God, which means its future is uncertain. Either, their riches won’t last or they won’t enjoy peace amidst plenty,” he said.
Social commentator Paul Mwafulirwa said God “loves Africa so much that he showered the continent with so much resources.”
Drawing reference from the Bible, Mwafulirwa said God blesses those who have patience and maintain their faith in him even in times of suffering.
“Sometimes God doesn’t intervene in a situation to test our faith and show his greatness when time is ripe. It’s high time we grew in faith and show love for each other by getting rid of evil deeds, which are rampant amongst us. Let us keep on asking, seeking and knocking; God will fully open the gates of prosperity for Africans,” he said.
Another social commentator, Immanuelho Mahmoudissa Salahadin, said the problems Africans are facing are not enough evidence to prove the inexistence of God.
Salahadin said Africa has great potential to develop, but it is failing to do so because “we are afraid to unleash our potentials with our inanimate acts of jealousy.”
“We fail to unite ourselves to achieve something. We lack vision; we fear to test our knowledge and expand it with the numerous resources bestowed on us. We have to challenge ourselves and use our wisdom to alleviate the problems we face,” he said.
Salahadin also censured Africans for having negative attitudes towards themselves, saying developed countries are “taking advantage of this to lord it over us on literally everything.”
“We identify ourselves as poor and developed countries make sure that we remain that way. We can make strides in addressing our problems if we stop looking down upon ourselves and associating ourselves with poverty.
“A problem becomes a problem when our mind fails to identify the possibility and potentials that we have to address them. We have psychologically created the problems we are going through today. It’s a histo-psycho dilemma which we need to address now,” he said.