96% of Ghanaians are religious apparently, according to a survey in the last few years. Roughly two thirds are Christian, 25% Muslim and the remainder believe in traditional African religions. Not only that, but people are religious. Ie, they believe strongly and it is a very important part of their lives.
A good example of this is that so far the third most common question I get asked, after what is my name and where do I come from, is what church do I go to? My responses have varied along the lines of either, I’m not very religious, or I don’t go to any specific church, and so far they’ve been ok with this (although they also do seem to understand that this means I’m not religious at all).
But religion is still hugely important to them so I’m planning on going to all of the churches in turn so I can meet more of the people in the community and get to know their way of life and culture better.
So this means I’m going to my first church service ever today. Wish me luck! 😉
I’m all dressed up with no place to go! My neighbour in the school bungalows is called madam Emelia and is in charge of the girls who board here is a Jehovah’s witness and is picking me up in minute!
In the last week I’ve been over to her house a couple of times to share supper and we’ve talked about several things, one of which was what witnesses believe. Apparently, among other things, they don’t believe in voting! Also apparently they don’t have churches, instead they’re called meeting places or something else.
Anyway, regardless of all this, as today is Sunday, I’ve agreed that I’ll go with Emelia to the witness… thing (honestly, I’m going to have to find out what they called their meetings) and she’s picking me up in a minute or so.
I’m kind of looking forward to seeing what it’s like actually. And I also have to admit I do sort of agree with some of what religions teach about thinking more about forgiveness, giving, and kindness.And I am sometimes also jealous of the communities they generate (which is why I like the idea of Sunday Assemblies so much). But all the same, I do not believe in God and find the religious aspects of religion utterly ridiculous!
I respect peoples right to believe what they want, and I respect religious authorities to a degree as another form of authority like I would respect a politician. But what I’m not sure about is if I respect religion itself, or if I respect the aspect of people that are religious or if I just ignore those things. Would it be more honest to myself and to them, potentially even more respectful if, when asked, I came out with saying ‘no, I’m not religious, I respect your right to believe butactually I disagree with a lot of religious beliefs’?
I don’t know. But the point is that I don’t necessarily know if the way I do things now is much better.
Anyway, off to church, or whatever it’s called now. Still quite excited.