Many people in the African nation of Ghana take their religion seriously; so seriously in fact that they aren’t doing much work. As Joy Online reports:
The day’s worship is often extended to evening hours, ending up in the wee hours of the next day in what they describe as all-night sessions. For days, weeks, months and years, this has become the standard practice of religious fanatics who have turned the productive hours and times of rest into a frenzy of noise-making, all in the name of worshipping God.
Whether it is God who has been cruel to us or our prayers have not reached the target audience, we all troop out of these prayer sessions more devastated and helpless, looking up to others for survival.
This was the message captured by Professor Max Assimeng of the Sociology Department of the University of Ghana, Legon, in his book: Religion and Social Change in West Africa.
In the 291-page book launched in Accra last week, Prof Assimeng observes that Ghana’s economic challenges have gained root because of the use of a greater part of our productive hours observing religious practices.
“In any country where there is too much religion, economic activity goes down,” he observes in the book, explaining that “all countries that are progressing are both religious and hardworking at the same time”.
Based on Professor Assimeng’s observations, two things are immediately apparent. First, all those prayers don’t seem to be bringing the faithful much prosperity or health. Second, the Christianity practiced in Ghana clearly is not of the Calvinist-Puritan variety. Max Weber would have been fascinated by this combination.