The Syncretic African Pastor
Papa: What does that mean?
Papa: Okay; but my immediate concern is that the members of MoreMoney Pentecostal church are destroying our temples and cutting down our ancient trees in the name of cleansing our land.
Uncle: What did they say is wrong with the land?
Papa: That our village is full of witches and wizards that are hindering the people. Therefore they have to cut-down the trees where the witches meet every night in order to bind and cast them.
Uncle: They are ignorant and overzealous. African politicians and unemployment are the witches and wizards that are hindering Africans. Do you think anybody will attend a church service if there were factories everywhere looking for workers? By the way how many people attend Church service in Europe?
Papa: You are right; nobody will attend.
Uncle: Obviously there are witches everywhere including in Europe and nobody accuses them of being a hindrance to anything.
Papa: Did you say witches in Europe?
Uncle: Listen; I met a lady in a New York shopping mall who introduced herself as a Witch. My African friend 'disappeared' when he heard her.
Papa: Hah!!! Was the lady black or white?
Uncle: A white woman.
Papa: Nobody dares call herself a witch in Africa. She will be burnt alive.
Uncle: Well, after my discussion with the lady, my friend asked me why I was conversing with someone who called herself a Witch. I told him that this is not Africa but America, home of freedom. Everybody has the right to worship whatever he chooses so long as it doesn’t affect the next person. They even have a church of Satan. And nobody has burnt down the church. You can only imagine what would happen if someone sets up a church of Satan in Africa.
Papa: My brother; in Africa never tell anybody that you had a discussion with a Witch be it in New York or anywhere else. You may be attacked.
Uncle: Nonsense. Why are they talking about witches and wizards when they have accepted the mark of the beast?
Papa: What's that?
Uncle: Christians say; one of the signs of the end time is that people will be forced to accept the mark of the beast (666) on their foreheads; as well as accept one address. But they have voluntarily accepted their addresses @yahoooooo.com; I hope you know what that sounds like.
Papa: That’s the cry of IKWIGHIKWIGHI (OWL).
Uncle: And you know Africans believe this bird to be an agent of death.
Papa: Of course it is.
Papa: Do you still remember that African proverb: a Witch (usually an Owl) cried last night and a child died in the morning; the Witch must be responsible for the child's death.
Uncle: How can you connect an Owl's cry with a child's death?
Papa: That's our belief and you don't have an option than to accept it.
Uncle: I can't accept it because it doesn't make sense.
Papa: So also there are things in your bible that don't make sense, yet you accept them without asking questions; or is it because your Bishops asked you to do so?
Uncle: Not that; the people that wrote the bible were inspired by holy Spirit.
Papa: Likewise, our Ome N'ala (Igbo tradition) was also inspired by the Spirit of God. Actually, any time that Owl cries in the night, terrible things usually happen the following morning.
Uncle: If anything happens at all, it must be a coincidence.
Papa: Call it whatever you like but it's our custom.
Uncle: Anyway, the Europeans believe Witches practice magic, which is nothing but trick.
Papa: Probably, that was why the missionaries didn’t destroy our shrines or any Witch. But then, why have African Christians become Witch busters?
Uncle: Because every mishap in Africa is blamed on Witches. Such misfortunes as childlessness, miscarriage of pregnancy, unemployment, sickness and etc.
Papa: Well, our golden rule is, if you do no evil, you shall meet no evil.
Uncle: Just like Christians will say, the measure you give is the measure you will receive.
Papa: Exactly! In fact, somebody told me that a Witch inflicted him with diabetes.
Uncle: What did you say to him?
Papa: What can I say to an ignorant man that consumes a carton of beer at a sitting. Anyway, I told him that the Witch that caused his diabetes resides in those bottles of raw sugar that he consumes daily.
Uncle: You are right. We kill ourselves by ourselves and turn around to blame others.
Papa: But people with such problems can easily be cured by a herbalist doctor or a native doctor as the case may be.
Uncle: But today the Pastors are competing with the native doctors for patients.
Papa: As there's no difference between their practises.
Uncle: Yeah! I know; they both use supposed spiritual power to heal. For instance, what a Pastor calls ancestral spirits the native doctor will call it forefathers’ spirits.
Papa: In fact, I have tried to differentiate what they practice from our Ome N'ala practice but couldn't really go far.
Uncle: There will be no difference between them since they mix Ome N'ala with Christianity. This practice is called syncretism.
Papa: So they neither belong to Ome N'ala nor Christianity?
...liberate your mind