The premise of [Eliza] Griswold’s book [The 10th Parallel] is that although there is frequent and bloody tension between Christians and Muslims along the 10th Parallel, especially where resources are scarce, there is no ‘clash of civilizations’. Rather, there is a competition for souls that is strongest among faiths, as Christians fight for Christians and Muslims fight for Muslims. “There is a proliferation of vibrant forms of religious practice. They look pretty kooky from a distance, but as any good Nigerian will tell you, religion is a market place. And it’s up to everybody to get as many people as possible to fill their Churches and Mosques.”
Enlightened religious organisations of both faiths in southern Nigeria are confronting reactionary groups in the north, groups which believe that vaccinations are poisons and that natural disasters are punishments from God. Meanwhile, Anglicanism and Catholicism are being supplanted along the 10th Parallel by flashy Pentecostals, who preach that God is the surest route to material wealth.
Read it all.
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