I once reproached some Igbo Christians who were demolishing and setting on fire an ancient Igbo native shrine and sacred objects. They told me that it were the villagers or the family that invited them to destroy them. “We did not come by force,” they said repeatedly. I asked them if they would do the same if a Moslem family or community requests their assistance in burning a Koran or a mosque because they want to give their lives to Christ. They remained silent. I ask them again what they would do if a Christian community calls them tomorrow to burn down their church because it was built on an “evil land”. They said nothing. I asked them how old the shrine they have destroyed was, and what it represented for the adherent for all those years. They kept quiet.
My dearest friends, most of the things we call religious zeal when it has to do with the destruction of our ancestral heritage is nothing but a demonstration of might over the weak. It is a problem of ego, which in most cases is mixed with hate or/and fear. It has practically nothing to do with faith. The most callous is when ego garnished with hate and fear is wrapped with the cloak of ignorance. An anonymous writer once said that ego is the biggest enemy of humans. Yogi Bhajan added: “When ego is lost, limit is lost.
You become infinite, kind, beautiful.” If you hear any spirit asking you to set something ablaze because it does not fit in to your world or ideology, kneel down at once and pray God for the spirit of love and wisdom and understanding. If it does not go away after praying go and sleep and take some quiet meditative walk.~ Watch out next week for my post on the historical analyses of the influence of ego, hate, fear and ignorance in relation to the demolition of our ancestral heritage.
Enjoy your weekend! Fr Angelo Chidi Unegbu
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