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Religion is an activity for the aged and poor

By David Kipkorir | November 30th -0001

From the ongoing English Premier League (EPL), I have observed that another form of worship has taken over from Christianity, the game of football.  Football has become an icon of worship around the globe.

Today bars in Kenya attract much larger crowds (congregation) during live broadcasts of EPL matches than more traditional worship cathedrals and churches.

The number of worshipers has dwindled, as religion is being viewed as an activity for the aged and the poor. Most Kenyans now gather in harmony in bars to adore the game.

And whereas celebrated footballers like Didier Drogba command a cult following wherever they go, the prospect of an African bishop taking over the highest office of the Church of England will probably not make headline news.

Football has replaced Christianity.  European-founded football academies are being started in Africa and many Kenyans today will opt to go without a meal at the expense of donning a Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal, Man city or Manchester United jersey.

My point is, England's vigorous export of religion to Africa in the late 19th century has been duplicated, but this time football has taken over from Christianity.

As millions of pounds are invested in building football stadia across England, which have taken over as "places of worship", the once-buzzing churches are being converted into tourist attractions, community centres or even residential places.

My shock is that, should a premiership football manager express interest in buying a player from somewhere in Kenya or Africa, the player seems to acquire the much sought-after visa within record time than a religious minister from the same jurisdiction.  It may take the minister a lot of effort to convince the same agency that his services are needed. 

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