The 21st century Nigerian church is a soulless mega-corporation that has perfected the art of creating zombie armies and grabbing the last crumpled Naira notes from the fingers of people bestowed with the shame of living in a nation that has the highest number of poor people living in poverty.

Organized religion in Nigeria is an industry that has commodified prosperity Gospel and sold it to fiends itching for a fix. These addicts inject the feel-good assertions from 'Papa' into their veins, believing that God would open the treasury in Heaven so that money can fall from the skies like manna in the days of Moses.

Somebody shout 'no more insufficient funds!'

While Gospel Inc in Nigeria has embraced innovative ways to fill its coffers with the sweat of hardworking (but gullible Nigerians), it has remained very conservative in tackling the cultures of rape, sexual harassment and gender equality. 

Not only is the Nigerian church staying silent over these issues, but many of them are doubling down on the sexist opinions, and views. The narrative from the pulpit seems to be more on the policing of women's bodies than talking about critical issues relating to violent sexual behaviour.

Maybe our esteemed General Overseers and Pastor Mrs do not know this but we the country is facing a rape crisis. According to the Women At Risk International Foundation (WARIF), "one in four girls by the time she reaches 18 would have experienced at least one form of sexual assault" in its 2018 report. 

The stats might be scanty, but the real-life horror stories are there for us to see or read. A quick glance at the Metro section of any news website on any given Sunday is littered with shocking stories of rape, paedophilia and sexual assault. The frequency of these stories is anything but alarming. 

The church in Nigeria seems to be out of sync with the reality most of its female members face, a bleak reality of fear, catcalling, sexual harassment and intimidation. Now imagine these women coming to church on Sunday and the Pastor hammers on how women should behave, submit to their husbands and dress instead of condemning rapists and sexual predators.

Please believe that there are rapists and paedophiles in many churches. You can't tell me that the people who perpetrate these crimes are atheists. I believe that they are deacons, members of the choir, ushers, pastors, senior pastors and ordinary churchgoers who do this. A little bit of maths and logic hints at the truth.

Nigeria is split between two religious lines, Christianity and Islam. According to a 2010 census conducted by the Association of Religion Data Archives, 47.5% of Nigerians are Christians. With this statistic, many wife beaters, rapists and other sexual harassers raise their holy hands on Sunday to receive the word. 

If these people sit comfortably in pews, is it not the spiritual responsibility for pastors to root them out? Shouldn't they denounce these evil acts? Shouldn't they create a learning environment where these spiritual leaders teach their congregation about the concept of consent, marital rape? Doesn't it fall on them to lead the conversation on appropriate sexual behaviour? 

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It seems very lopsided when there is too much emphasis on how women dress in church and feather-light attention placed on the culture of misogyny and the institution of patriarchy that have enabled most men to treat women as lesser than them. 

Now hear this, every religious organization has a right to admonish its congregants on their manner of dressing if it is against its accepted mode of dressing. If a church is conservative in doctrine, and appearance then its pastor has every right to call out any member who has constantly embraced a liberal style of appearance. 

However, which one of these two should more attention be placed on, a few erring members who wear mini skirts to service or a member of the congregation who is a child abuser? 

It might be wishful thinking that the wind of justice that has exposed the undergarment of the Roman Catholic Church for sweeping numerous cases of rape and sexual molestation under the carpet would hit Nigeria.

Then pastors and priests would be judged by the Almighty for turning a blind eye when the innocence of young boys was taken and not trying its best to crack the culture of rape in the society.

Pastors should pay more attention to sexual violence than a few women who dress as they want. Let it be said that true progress cannot be made until most men are taught gender equality and sexual violence. 

The emphasis on women being 'submissive' to their husbands and the policing of their bodies reemphasizes the narrative that women are not equal to men because men are allowed to do as they please.

Nigerian pastors should leave the women in their congregation and admonish men not to encourage rape culture, patriarchy and sexual violence.