Religion indirectly hindering development in Buhera

Religion indirectly hindering development in Buhera

Religion indirectly hindering development in Buhera

Religion is the opium of the poor and it’s s severe impact can be witnessed in the satellite areas , where no-one ever questions the church’s doctrines which in some instances are indirectly crippling development progress in Buhera constituencies.

Be it African traditional religion , Christianity , Hinduism , Islam , Judaism or Buddhism these are ought not to be questioned as they are deemed  very sensitive at the end some of the practices   are  hindering development in the area .

In an astonishing research done by this publication in Buhera constituencies, it has reviewed that development is legging behind and the pale have , severe poverty, high illiteracy rate, early child marriages, less number of inoculated children and rampant child abuse cases, all this pin pointing  to some  religious  beliefs and practices.

Al this vices are largely contributed by some religious aspects directly or indirectly due to their doctrines and practices in general.

Majority of population in Buhera constituency belongings to the white-garment sects and a fraction of those who believes in the African Tradition Religion with some of the doctrines coming into conflict with some norms and aspects of development, down slowing the processes of development in the area.

For instance they are church doctrines which prohibits congregants from accessing health facilities and seeking medical attention from hospitals, poly-clinic and pharmacies.

They strongly believes in natural remedies, prayers and spiritual healing which in some cases leads to fatality.

These doctrines have indirectly stalled the immunization outreach program launched recently due to the outbreak of the missiles and polio in the country with the the efforts to curb and prevent the diseases from spreading .

Denying the general populace their right to health care which is a human right and leaving them vulnerable yet with great faith of being healed at church shrines is not called for.

A source who choose to remain anonymous said, she was once put under disciplinary measures for going to the hospital with her seek husband who was later diagnosed with tuberculosis and the situation was worsening by the day.

She was put under disciplinary and was not allowed to wear garments until cleansed by the elders as they believed she was defiled.

Health facilitator who was on the immunization program affirms the allegations, as they faced the same challenges during the outreach program in community and schools.

Mrs. Tireni said, some church members would not allow our nurses to administer the vaccine to their children to the extent of making them absconding from schools for a number of days till the program ends, she said with a smirk on her face .

She went on to say on some homestead they were told openly, that the church doctrine does not allow children to be immunized due to the aforementioned.

Also  the illiterate rate is high in the area as school going age are neglected as the church promotes self-sufficiency through manual jobs, this mindsets promoted school dropping and early child marriages which are recurring in the area.

Statics from the 1919 primary schools shows that 4 out 10 children drops out of school from the grade 4 to grade 7 whilst at the secondary school 2 out of 10 girl child  elopes from form 2 to form 4 and the main reason being negligence and ignorance from the parents and guardians .

Probing the child marriage issues the reporter have found out many of these child marriages are instigated mostly by church members and the locals with strong church background .

One of the victims of the church doctrine a young lady who refused to be named said, she was married at the age of 15 in a polygamous marriage by a prophet to become the fifth wife, and she is surviving through vending in the growth point.

Another victim who also refused to the mentioned due to the sensitivity of the matter said, she was forced into marriage at 16 when a leader claimed that the Holy Spirit has discern the message through dreams.

She was later divorced with 2 children at 19 leading her to join the world oldest profession for her upkeep and the 2 children as life of polygamous marriage was not ideal for her .

The African tradition religion comes to play also as cases of the girl child being offered as wives to compensate the avenging spirit.

All this thwarts the effort by the second republic to attain a sustainable upper middle income by the year 2030 as religion is directly and indirectly hindering the process, this calls for enlightenment and empowerment as the girl and boy child remains vulnerable in these dire situation.

Enlightenment will help in changing the mindset as honesty as it sound seeking medical attention does not make one a sinner or letting your child attain the higher and tertiary education rather makes him or her eradicates family poverty in the community.

This calls for action and community engagement program, supporting efforts being made by the organizations like Camfed, Cadec and US aid need to be supported thoroughly as they bring development to the area.  

Dialogues between church leaders , spiritual leaders and opinion leaders need to be spearheaded as to find common ground to tackle the issues of religion and development.

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