Could coronavirus pandemic be God's punishment?

If there is anything that majority of humans seem to agree on is that the pestilence scotching the earth now is as a consequence of man turning away from God.

There are those who will want to see it differently, but the more it looks like there will be no cure soon, man is taking solace in religious conspiracy theorism. The feeling is that so much injustice against the weak around the world has angered God and that he has unleashed his wrath on the human race.

And it is not hard to go along with these theorists especially as helplessness consumes man.

All over the world greed, corruption and oppression have become normalised and at times even encouraged. In the history of the human race, examples abound about times when God's anger came in ways man could not fathom. The Bible and the Koran bear examples of God's vengeance on disobedience. Remember the story of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah? It goes in the Koran that Lot was sent to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah to warn them about the vices they indulged in.

Being humanly, they turned away in arrogance. They paid heavily for their disobedience. When they refused to heed God's messenger, God sent his angels to destroy the twin cities. The Bible also states the cities were turned upside down and the inhabitants pelted with “stones hard as baked clay”. Now the Koran also cautions that God’s wrath does not discriminate and oftentimes even the innocent are not spared. When the society decides to normalise vices and sins become common market place activities, even the innocent are not spared. The wrath of God comes as wholesale and does not segregate.

God’s anger equalises humanity. All faiths, whether Islam, Christianity, Buddhism or even Hinduism believe in equity and justice for all. But the world today is full of injustice. Research shows that 80 per cent of the world's population lives on less than $2 a day and that one per cent of the world's population own 90 per cent of all the wealth.

In Kenya, according to the 2019 census, more than 65 per cent of the inhabitants of the city live in slums or informal settlements. That means more than 60 per cent of Nairobi’s population survive on less than Sh200 a day. As the middle class and the well-to-do members of the society zoom past these impoverished people along our roads in tinted SUVs, they must look at us with sad faces.

In Kenya alone, a few people steal and cart off billions and perpetually keep themselves in power hoping to steal more as they impoverish other members of the society. The inequality between men and women is also enormous. The youth that make up more than 70 per cent of the population are excluded from the national wealth with most of them condemned to perpetual poverty.

Around the world, the richer countries are getting richer using their technological superiority and to a large extent, exploiting poor countries by supporting leaders that serve their interests.

This includes the displacement of the natives in the Amazon Forest or the exploitation of fragile African countries and theft of their minerals by rich countries while the local populations languish in hunger and abject poverty as happens in the Congo and Zambia as well as Angola.

The difference between the world’s richest and poorest economies are like night and day. We are also witnesses to unfair wars. The killing of the innocent Congolese, Palestinians, Yemenis, Syrians, Libyans and when the arms manufacturers sell weapons to rebel groups or to countries that oppress their people. All these amount to injustice.

It is not just governments and politicians that are exploiting the people. Throughout the world, banks and financial institutions and corporates are exploiting humanity for profits’ sake.

The scriptures tell us that God is the Judge of all judges. The Koran says He is the ‘Master of the Universe”. God is just and according to the scriptures, His justices do not sleep. At his own time of choosing He will act. It is my prayer that the coronavirus is not a punishment from God. Because learning from biblical history, God's justice destroys both the guilty and innocent.

But I have a rhetorical question: If you, the reader of this column, was God and you saw so much injustice around the world with no end to it, what would you have done?

Mr Guleid is the CEO, FCDC Secretariat and former Deputy Governor of Isiolo County

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