“Biafra is our religion and on this radio station, is where we worship.” Those words which are beamed over the airwaves each day by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the host and director of Radio Biafra, is about to change. Biafrans, who up until now, did not have a physical venue apart from the radio station to worship, can now worship at a venue given to those who live in the Scandinavian country of Sweden.
While the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) members all around the world, welcome this generous act by the Swedish government, the establishment of a first ever Biafran Church, at least in this generation’s time, raises a litany – literally – of questions.
Biafrans are traditionally inclined to Abrahamic faiths and teachings which are expressly evident in their ways of life. They are among the few people in the world that circumcise their male sons on the 8th day. And by the names Biafran communities and people bear, they give praises to the most high Chukwuabiamah.
But with the arrival of the Christian missionaries together with the colonialists, who brought with them, their version of Christianity which Biafrans were made to embrace, the Christian faith has replaced the Abrahamic faith of old in Biafraland, albeit currently infused with Yoruba teachings and liturgy.
Should they copy Yoruba Pentecostalism or should they be modeled after synagogue meetings with a few tweaks here and there to suit our people?
So before the people in Sweden kick off their Saturday or Sunday meetings, how will the Biafran Church be organised? What will be the liturgy? Considering our history and tradition as people who naturally worship the one and only true Chukwuabiamah, the Chi ukwu of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in what way are Biafrans going to praise him? Will they come into meetings with a full rock band-set as is wont to be found in Pentecostal churches or will they sing praises to him from old church hymns taken from various denominations?
The new Biafran Churches which will soon spring up are expected to have a liturgy and organisational structure that is the same across the board, no matter the location and should be such that when Biafra is restored and a temple is finally built, as the Biafran leader, Mazi Kanu states over the radio, all the churches will come under the direction of a central body in Biafraland. And to achieve that structure, priests/pastors/ministers have to receive necessary training. But for now, those who will minister the new church in Sweden and others which will likely spring up shortly, should have a basic training and an idea of what direction the church is going and should endeavor to observe to a reasonable extent church doctrines and teachings.