The shareholders of Jesus Inc.

God is the fastest-growing business in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa. It may be time we agitate for our governments to raise taxes on these corporations.

Image by neajjean, via Flickr CC.

In the midst of so much global upheavals, it is good to know one can always count on religious and financial leaders to remind us of who the “good guys” are not. A recent Russian bruhaha over whether Russian Orthodox Church leader, Patriarch Kirill I, wore a $30,000 Breguet timepiece (watch) or not is causing an internet stir. For good reasons too. This is a story of a national religious institution and its leader lying publicly repeatedly and being incompetent enough to cover their tracks. If he was a US politician, he would be resigning now.

It is sad and frustrating when an institution that claims to be a moral compass of a country often displays lavish wealth and power, dishonestly, when a majority of its congregation is suffering under economic repression. One wishes there had been the same viral passion by Nigerians when one of their wealthy mega-pastors claimed to be starting his own airline, in addition to the four private jets he already owns and allegedly barely uses.

Jesus Inc. is a thriving and good business in Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Might it be time to start forcing these corporations and their CEOs to start sharing their wealth with their congregants (did I just hear someone say “taxes”?)? It is a pity that those with the power to best do this might be major shareholders in Jesus Inc.

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