Sociology of Religious Sentiment in Nigeria. Religion, aside from its noble place as an inextricable segment of human societies, can also be considered as a rallying tool of mobilizing people, especially adherents of different sects towards the shores of positive or negative causes.
Sociologists have been trying to understand the complex nature of religion and the intricacies surrounding it. With its prediction of power and control of activities in the society, religion is placed in good and or bad frames which the adherents bend to consciously or unconsciously find themselves in. That is why Sociologists strive to critically observe religion from the perspectives and beliefs of the adherents and are not quick to condemn or accept any religion against each other.
The sociology of religion is a challenging enterprise that places quite a special demand on our sociological imagination in analyzing its practices.
We have to make sense of the diversity of beliefs and rituals in human cultures historically that compels one to be sensitive enough, because of the ideas that inspire profound conviction in believers. At the same time, we must take a balanced view from different aspects and outlooks.
It will be very fine to confront ideas that seek the eternal in religions but, our actions should tally in recognizance of the diversity that defines our sociopolitical lives.
The nature of religion as a general social phenomenon started with Philip W. Sutton who opined that the sociology of religion put more effort into the religious practices and what it is for a particular society and within the scope of social realities.
Most people discover religion as a simple segment of life, defined as a belief in God or gods, with a significant repost to the afterlife. It also involved worship in religious arenas such as mosques, churches, and synagogues altogether with other practices pertained to different worships in supplications and costume.
In the today’s world, the word religion is used in a very loose sense, many people under the drive or influence of extreme Protestantism use the word to denote serious (UN), reasonable and some personal conviction as to morals, or the nature of the universe. Today, the use of the word is quite ahistorical!
Religion is primarily a social phenomenon.
Some Muslims think of Islam as a country or a place or even as a group of people, while it is not.
Islam is an Abrahamic religion that derived from an Arabic term that means” to submit oneself” to God. t refers to the believer’s submission to Allah in the sense of believing in Him and obeying His commands. if a person does this, they will gain “salam”, which is peace here and hereafter.
To be true believers, all Muslims are expected to orient their entire lives around Islam, demonstrating the art of peace. This is why the religion is often tagged ” the Religion of Peace”. This is essential, and it is this conception that guides one to have a working grasp of the basics of Islam.
On the other hand, Christianity is also an Abrahamic religion founded on the doctrine and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Christianity as a faith, canonically established and regulated a system of ‘‘dogmas’’ or ‘‘mandatory beliefs’’ correlating with the understanding of God and the way he saves or benefits humans.
A significant feature of this faith has been its ability to engage with reason since its first appearance in Greco-Roman classical culture.
Churches may owe their origin to priests with strong individual convictions, with much influence upon the churches that they founded. The churches have had an enormous influence on the societies in which they flourished. The teaching of Christ, as it appears in the Gospels has had and still holds an extraordinary societal impact on Christians.
From both theologies, no place is stated in one of the religions to go against the other. Both teach their adherents peace and good relationship with each other, but some unscrupulous religious scholars embedded hatred in the heart of their followers.
Sociologically the religious dilemma is usually a disagreement concocted by some crooked politicians led by the unscrupulous religious teachers and leaders between groups of different religions that endeavor against coherent existence without themselves.
High percentages of unemployed religious demagogues partake a lot in marshaling jobless adherents of religions who have no steady work and are easy to pay off and rule into fighting each other in the name of practicing a religion because of Infectious poverty.
Most of the violent and extremist adherents in the country are illiterate or have poor knowledge of the religion that they claimed. In most cases, they drive their teachings based on ideologies, aiming at violence and diving people in the name of defending the religious status quo.
Nigeria has no criteria or techniques to take a stable and defensible atmosphere.
When a society with several religious views, starts upholding its liberties, the prevailing disputes, social harassment, and turmoil will rest assured.
The involvement of politicians has contributed awfully to bringing diversity in religion down to its knees. they made use of that advantage to bring controversy to others to achieve a selfish desired goal, and they also hire and sponsor religious scholars to defend and even to create differences in the society.
One of the reasons why the diversity of religion is under-observed in Nigeria is a lack of critical comparative religious education.
A person who has enough money will hardly ever undergo the influence of political alliances trying to buy his life or convince him to commit violent actions. Just take a new step to reform and change the recent subjects, which are capable of protecting the citizens and conflict regulations. It will also make the structure more efficient to protect human lives.
The government should establish special organs that will maintain balanced rights for all ethnic groups, freedom to exercise, and hold a constructive dialogue that will lead to harmony, understanding, and peace.
They should be a kind of regulator, who can find the best solution for the resolution of disagreements based on the needs of different ethnic groups. Government should stop erupting in the affairs of religion, as this would help in lessening the issues debugging religious conflicts in Nigeria.
Every adherent should realize that there is no place in the Glorious Qur’an or the Holy Bible that stated a Muslim believer to not relate with a Christian believer, nor is it advocated otherwise.
Let us come together and be a better society. Everyone has the right to go and perform their religion.