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Skewed Religiosity as Cause for Corruption in Kenya


Elusive Social Justice 


Last week I attended a conference on social and economic justice in Kenya at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), Nairobi. The debates were interesting and the conversation went very well. Speaker after speaker seemed to agree that we need a national philosophy on how to actually live the national values enshrined in the constitution of Kenya. But then the challenge that kept popping up is that whereas we have come up with national values and whereas we really aspire to let those values permeate our lives we lack a framework though which such can be realised. Those from legal background proposed legislation and those from religious background prescribed good will based on conviction. This made the conversation even livelier but then participants seemed to reach a consensus that it is not possible to legislate morality. At that point one puzzle emerged. That Kenyans appear to be so religious yet their ways are very corrupt. What is the problem? I recall one speaker argued that the only other African country that can compare with Kenya in terms of religiosity is Nigeria and that the only other African country that can compare with Kenya in terms of corruption is Nigeria. So what is the co relation between religion and corruption. It appears the more people shout praise the Lord, the more corrupt they get! Now that is worrying indeed.

Skewed Religious Message


So these issues got me thinking through and reflecting deeply but also observing carefully. I am yet to go to Nigeria and do the same thing but when it comes to Kenya, I think there is some problem somewhere. Kenya's gospel both as preached and sung is quite skewed to material wealth. It is not uncommon to hear them count God's blessings in terms of wealth, power and greatness and in those gospel videos you almost always see luxurious cars and houses and yes they say God is a God of prosperity and they preach a gospel of prosperity ans success. God has been reduced and successfully so into a Deity of the ones who have; those who are blessed never want; they have in abundance since a Father in Heaven out-pours gifts to His beloved sons and daughters and He provides for all their needs whenever they call on His Mighty and Holy name. He is a God of wealthy and abundance and His giving is often always instant. 

But then now how do we reconcile this with the life and message of Jesus the Christ, the God-man who came as a lowly, poor and weak person focused on social justice and portraying suffering as necessary for those who choose to follow Him? Here lies the answers to questions that were raised in last week's conference on social and economic justice at CUEA. Someone wondered why Kenya is so religious yet so corrupt. Skewed religiosity is the answer. 
Skewed Religiosity as Cause for Corruption in Kenya Skewed Religiosity as Cause for Corruption in Kenya Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on February 21, 2016 Rating: 5

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