Each with their own doctrines and beliefs under the large anchor of their religious sentiments and each with a systematic belief of who God is and how life should be lived…

I came to the university as a young, naïve virgin and truly I was. Ignorance worked for me in every sense of what the word is, but could only last for so long. Growing up in a community of predominantly Christians, even your most common Muslim names were foreign to me. Liberalism did not come easy to me, I had to learn it.

As a college fresher man, I felt torn to worry by the various religious associations that came knocking on the door, each offering a kind word, a smiling face and of course; an invitation to worship. It was an endless game of hide and seeks- having roommates cover for you and covering for them just to get a lone time to yourself.

Religious diversity

I also had never seen so many Muslims (in one place) with different levels of coverings as I came to see- the scarfs, hijabs, niqabs, burqas, chadors and even the jilbabs/ abayas. Of course, I was opportune to meet with two, three people who didn’t believe in the existence of God to start with, however arguable, but with proofs too- such interesting fellas.

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What of religious people with no sense of, or reason for fellowship? - Each with his own belief and stance. I met with a lot of people, each more religious than the last and less religious than the next, each with their own doctrines and beliefs under the large anchor of their religious sentiments and each with a systematic belief of who God is and how life should be lived. Each reminding me of the things I knew and so much that I didn’t know.

I never understood the idealism of how religion could anesthetize a seemingly simple ideology and paralyze a person’s life but I came to- With each different notions by brothers of Christ, and each with his own interpretations of Allah’s will, I came to understand but never fully grasped the intent and extent of the segregation that drew brothers and sisters by faith apart.

The Warning

“Be yea not unequally yoked with unbelievers…” This, I have heard times and times again: If only we could live by ourselves. I have often imagined as the preacher preaches this, why he sounds the gong endlessly; after all, the same holy book preaches Charity (love). The Imam cries out to his congregation the haram in marrying someone from a different religion. I often wonder if however permissible such are by the Quran, reasons for the stances.

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Togetherness

I have heard a lot about how religion tore people apart and oh! I have seen how religion can be a major deterrent in progressive relationship but I’ve seen the beauty of togetherness and the harmony of differences; how people come together irrespective of their different backgrounds forgetting just for a moment their religious grievances and join hands to help one another, giving me hope that despite it all, despite her many faces, humanity will thrive.

Written by Christiana Osun.

Christiana is a writer dedicated to voicing out thoughts we’d rather not complete: Presenting our realities and sharing relatable experiences and thoughts provoking subjects. She’s sarcastic, fun loving and an enigma of possibilities. Instagram: @_themillenniallady_ Facebook: OSUN Christiana Oluwadamilola Email: krwistee@gmail.com