By Oyunga Pala
It must be a huge sigh of relief for non- churchgoers because the devil has conspired to provide yet another good reason to continue absconding.
Church is simply too dangerous these days. One could get blown up, shot at or robbed in the House of God. The church is under siege from rogue elements raising hell on holy ground.
Only last week, we witnessed a brazen daylight robbery in a church compound thanks to a KTN headline broadcast.
A group of 15 men walked into a church compound, bolted the gates and proceed to pilfer and shake down a congregation of cash, mobile phones and stuff. They rummaged through unlocked car boots in the parking lot and methodically emptied the pockets of subdued church members.
The footage was captured by the church’s CCTV cameras. That we even have surveillance cameras in church is a story for a different day. But the video recording showed that only one of the thugs had a gun, which appeared fake. But we will never know because no one was bold enough to rally the numbers and dare the thugs who went on robbing the faithful for over 15 minutes and trying on newly acquired wrist watches!
All we needed were a few worshippers in church with hardcore street life experience and the thieves would have not operated with such audacity. The way things stand, the church may have to lure the so-called dregs of society — criminals and prostitutes — to the fold for protection.
Even so, I do not find the congregation behaviour unusual. It would be the height of folly to get shot in church trying to save your mobile phone.
But you know things are getting a little dicey when thieves forget their limits. Whatever happened to thou shall not steal from the church? Fleecing church faithful, ransacking and taking off with loot stashed in green plastic bags on a Sunday morning is a new low.
For those raised in conservative Christian households, where Christ was the ‘Head of the House and the Silent Guest at every meal’, church represented refuge. It was where the spiritual connection was rejuvenated and one found a sense of belonging amongst a devout religious community.
That purpose was long forgotten and places of worship became places of business. The gospel of redemption was superseded by the gospel of prosperity. Celebrity preachers’ have turned the pulpit in a platform for self-aggrandisement, tantalising followers with the secret of creating wealth — “Give and you shall receive”. Churches have become towers of opulence and the spiritual community has gotten flashier and exclusive.