According to a 2012 Gallup poll, 47% of Chinese people were confirmed atheists ranking as the most atheist nation on earth.
Public Speaker, Media Trainer TJ Walker and video blogger an American, commenting on the poll said this is a good recipe to China becoming the superpower to rival America.
Walker says that the Chinese’ lack of religion will make them progress as they will not be weighed down by superstition, their schools will focus on science instead of teaching what is in line with ‘some old book.’
Let’s not make this about US versus China; I want to discuss the developing world, especially Africa. Gallup actually has another poll that lists poor countries as being the most religious.
For Example, the people of Malawi, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Niger, Sri Lanka (very poor and sorry nations) were asked by Gallup: Is religion an important part of your life? And behold 99% of the respondents said ‘yes.’
China was a nation of peasants not long ago, among other factors; I think the fact that religion is excluded from daily life has made it a very successful story.
On a Sunday in say, Jinan city, students still attend their classes at university, traffic still flows normally and banks are open like on normal week days, construction work goes on unchecked everywhere.
Compare that to Malawi, very poor, with 99% of its people saying religion rocks and is important in life: government offices are abandoned by Friday noon, no work for two days and people report for work on Monday still dazed from drunkenness, banks close by 3pm and do not open over the weekends.
In the capital city of Malawi, Lilongwe, on a Sunday, you can have a car race in the highway as it is abandoned; shops close as people flock to churches.
It is ironic how people go to church to ask for success and work this little, I thought the best way to succeed was to work hard? Laborare est orare!
And the coming in of these noisy Nigerian and African-American inspired Pentecostal churches is making things worst. I know someone who told me she wakes up at 3am to pray so she can find a job. You meet an African in China and the first thing they ask you is about churchgoing.
Even in America, Gallup listed Mississippi as the most religious state, I looked up the state and it is the poorest of America’s states. Poor US states like Mississippi, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Alabama are very religious and have more Africans.
The African, wherever he may be, thinks that there is something beyond the clouds that can lift them from woes. So in the 500 years of slavery he prayed and God was busy. Exit Slavery and enter colonialism and the African prayed but the gods and God never listened until the 60s.
Now, while the rest of the world has moved on and is racing to sharpen their sciences; nuclear weapons, medicine, industry and even graphics, the African is still praying and to a foreign religion.
No offense, but the God of Israel has one son and that son is Jewish (no African represented in heaven) and all his activities happened in Israel, but right now the Christian in Central Africa Republican is more passionate than the Pharisees of old.
Islam: Muhammad and the holy sites are far from Africa and yet the African in Nigeria or Somalia thinks they can somehow pray hard and receive some mysterious blessings.
Religion is the biggest hurdle hampering development (universally) and the fact that the Communist Party in China bans it among its members makes a rational government and there are no stupid questions when issues such as stem cell research or abortion rise.
If the Vatican says condoms are not holy and the African would rather get HIV than use the condom; one day the people of Darfur will be rescued by faith.
Even as an African reading this, you are thinking,'he is going to burn in hell,' which is the very thing i am talking about, you are too bound by religion and cannot see that Africans live in hell and there is no other hell after they die.
And sadly, the more religious countries are, the more intolerant they are… for example, just imagine a Jew marrying an Ethiopian and how his uncles would react or a Hutu marrying a Tutsi and the violence in CAR sums up this one.
And its embarrassing how Africa claims to be so religious but the HIV statistics shows they are having too much unprotected sex with multiple partners and the tribal hatred, the homophobia and the corruption all reek of satanism than Islam or Christianity.
Instead of working to realize that religion has not worked for Africa and the African this far, right now many Africans are crying and have their eyes shut (not studying) trying to placate a God with a Jewish son and an Allah with his base in Mecca.
So many in Africa and in the developing world accept poverty because religion teaches them that its actually difficult to go to heaven as a rich man; that it is not bad to die young or poor because there is good life in heaven - roads paved with gold and all.
Education, especially sciences are viewed in suspicion, religion teaches that all that is not sensible can be explained with faith and that questioning God will only run you mad. Such big African heads and yet afraid to ask questions.
Universities coming up in Malawi now overwhelmingly offer theology courses as if the graduates will pray the nation to prosperity.
Right now the Africans in Jamaica, in America or Nigeria probably think that their riches and blessings are around them and can be unlocked by praying hard. In China, however, all the Chinese does is work around the clock and blessings flow and most Chinese cannot even say who Deborah was (or even Saul.)
As Karl Marx argued Religion is the opiate of the masses; the rich love religion because it makes the poor accept their state and keep working at cheap rates; the poor love it because it offers them reason to live on.
Is it not funny that South Africans were robbed, killed and oppressed for decades and they ‘forgave’ their oppressors overnight and continue to live in oppression with little protest? The answer is…religion.
The European that brought religion is now in the pub enjoying some cold beers; the African is praying hard, waiting for blessings and riches…the Chinese are going to the top, as Confucius taught them never to mind heaven, hell or life after death.
Just a thought, in heaven, there will be many Africans in heaven, drinking wines, walking on paved roads, singing all day and they will finally laugh as the Chinese and Europeans burn in hell.
That’s after we die, now, now take our oil, land, don’t give us education or vaccines and we won’t use condoms - if death comes its God’s wish and remember its easier for a rich man to enter heaven than it is for a camel to pass through a pin hole. (Mark 10:25)
Sigh. Prayer is really just doing nothing and hoping that someone somewhere is doing something about a given problem.