African woman but not religious  

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By Leo Igwe
She is from Ndola in the self-acclaimed Christian country, Zambia, but currently, Cynthia lives in one of the European countries where she works as a school teacher. Not too long ago, Cynthia came out as a non-theist. She has joined the growing number of African women who openly and publicly identify as non-religious. I spoke to Cynthia some months ago and she narrated to me her tortuous journey from religion to irreligion. It is a journey that took this brave, thoughtful and curious woman across different Christian denominations but also across continents.
Cynthia was born into a ‘religious’ family in her native country Zambia and had a religious upbringing. The mother was a Seventh Day Adventist, and as a child, Cynthia attended her mother’s church. However, she told me that the father was indifferent to religion. In fact, she claimed that she owed her intellectual awareness and insatiable curiosity to him. “My father encouraged me to read and ask questions, he urged me to question all claims and beliefs without fear”. Cynthia told me as she recounted her evolution as a non-religious and secular person.
Even as a child, Cynthia noticed the contradictions in the teachings of the different Christian denominations, and wondered why such conflict existed. Though she attended a Seventh Day Adventist church, Cynthia went to a catholic school where she was exposed to different Christian teachings. However, the conflict in the doctrines of these two churches set her on the path of doubt and critical inquiry. She became suspicious and mistrustful of religious dogmas.
According to Cynthia the Seventh Day Adventist taught her that the Roman Catholic Church was an evil church, and that the papacy was the mark of the beast. Her education at a different mission school gave Cynthia an opportunity to compare the teachings of the Catholic Church and that of the Seventh Day Adventist. And she noticed that the Adventist church was fundamentalist in its approach. ‘They preached so much about the end of the world’. She stated.
Cynthia had issues with catholic prayers in particular, the Hail Mary. She queried why such prayers should be said. The conflicts and contradictions in the teachings of the two churches were confusing to her. Hence she never found any strong reason to belong either to the Seventh Day Adventist or the Catholic Church. In fact, at a point she decided to suspend going to any church until she became convinced of what to believe in and which church to attend.
During this break from religious worship and church attendance, Cynthia came in contact with members of the Jehovah’s Witness. They gave her a book on questions people ask. Expectedly Cynthia thought the book would provide answers to the questions that have perturbed her and agitated her mind but it did not. In fact the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witness added to her confusion.
Members of Jehovah ’s Witness tried to persuade her to join their religion but Cynthia said she was not convinced of their teaching. Later she went back to her mother’s church, the Seventh Day Adventist, and tried to get baptized. The church agreed to baptize her but on the condition that she stopped wearing ear rings but she refused. So she could not be baptized.
Some years ago, Cynthia moved to Europe where she is living at the moment and tried joining the Seventh Day Adventist church in her region in the quest for family and community feeling. However the religious romance was short-lived because after watching a BBC report on witchcraft-related abuse of children by Christian churches in Africa, the scale of transcendental illusion fell off from her eyes. She literally woke up from her dogmatic, supernatural and theistic slumber.
Cynthia said that she later listened to the audio book of Carl Sagan, and after reading other books by Isaac Asimov, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, she could no longer continue to identify as a religious and god believing person. Reason overtook religion in her quest for truth, knowledge and meaning. Cynthia eventually found the courage to come out and openly identify as a freethinking non-religious African woman.

13 Responses to African woman but not religious  

  1. Pingback: African woman but not religious   - Latest Africa News, Breaking News, Hot and Daily News

  2. Cynthia, Cynthia, Cynthia! How many times did I call You?

    October 31, 2016 at 4:56 pm

  3. Cynthia, ur search is not over ur are just on a break, I pray God draws u near to true salvation and a fulfilled christian life. Remember God’s greatest commandment.

    November 1, 2016 at 3:20 am

  4. my sister region not feeling, is how you how you relate your self to the word. Yes churches have misinterpreted the bible to suite their doctrine but the bible remains unchanged. study the bible and prayerful then you will see the truth about region. don’t concretrate so much on books writtenby man be that their opinion and will confuse you. the best is the bible. the book of Timothy says all scriptures is God’s breath so this the book to do your research. not other books.

    Stanford Simuuba
    November 1, 2016 at 5:02 am

  5. Cynthia,Stanford has a point. The Bible has been seriously misinterpreted by different denominations to suit their interests. There is,obviously, no perfect denomination. But do search the word of God yourself. You will notice that it does not conflict in any way.
    I am sorry that you were asked to remove your earrings to be baptized. There is nowhere in the bible where it says people should remove certain ornaments to be baptized. The bible, in fact says ,”Come as you are.” Churches must know that they baptize sinners who have agreed to follow Christ. They are not yet saints. They need time to learn of Christ. When they have learnt you will not tell them what to get rid of from their lives. They will do so on their own.

    November 1, 2016 at 9:16 am

  6. I do appriciate Cynthia”s honestness,and by having had a persornal encounter with three most contravatial Churches whose teachings are totally motivated on getting at each others neck! Being a studious person your jouney should not end here. Your conclusion of settling on being a non-religious person may be too heastant! Keep on searching and never to just lead the books of Men claiming to have found a the true Church John 8:32. I once was a victim of such!!

    P Kaweme
    November 2, 2016 at 6:22 am

  7. Cynthian hasn’t done enough yet. Everybody pray for her if you can. Christianity is personal and it is not a religion. Religion fakes Christianity. No church will take anybody to heaven but the personal relationship that one has with God. “The knowledge of the truth will set you free Cynthia”. Cynthian you need to gather more knowledge of the truth.

    November 2, 2016 at 9:40 am

  8. Cynthia needs a personal encounter with God.

    November 3, 2016 at 10:00 pm

  9. Cynthia, my fellow African! You are not the first nor will you be the last to embark on a soul searching journey of religious emancipation. The bible says ‘ Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and it’s Righteousness. The problem with you is that you were seeking a religion and not God. You went seeking the goods of this world instead of God’s righteousness. Being an atheist is in itself a realignment to secularism dogma which is antichrist.
    Let not Europeanization or westernisation corrupt your thirst and hunger for God.

    Prophet Patrick
    November 7, 2016 at 10:11 am

  10. I sometimes wonder why people equate atheism to being intellectual self actualized. To be a person of faith is not to forsake logic, for it is written in Isaiah 1:18 ‘”Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord… “Some of the greatest minds and scientists believe in God,therefore it is not a proper excuse to blame religion for intellectual stunting.

    November 7, 2016 at 10:59 am

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