A professor of Sociology of Religion, John Umoh, has called on the Federal Government to regulate the indiscriminate founding of churches in order to checkmate religious fraudsters.
Umoh said that the Federal Government could introduce licences and permits as basic requirements for operation of churches in order to control their proliferation, which he said had undermined community development.
The professor said this during the 43rd inaugural lecture of the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Wednesday.
He said, “The government should control the indiscriminate founding of churches through the requirements of licences and operation permits in order to control the proliferation of churches, which in turn undermines community development.
“This can checkmate religious fraudsters who engage in business transactions in the sanctuary.”
He stressed that religious proliferation could result in unhealthy competition between and among modern emergent religious bodies, noting that Etim Ekpo clan of Akwa Ibom State, with a total number of 72 villages, plays host to 470 different churches of diverse denominations.
“These culminate in religious conflict,” he said.
He urged religious institutions to see their mission as a genuine call to liberate the whole person, body and soul, from earthly misery so that their efforts at evangelising might not be construed as one-sided and hypocritical.
The religion professor asked the government to encourage the efforts of religious organisations in providing social services in rural communities.