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RELIGIOUS VALUES AND CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA- A DISLOCATED RELATIONSHIP
Religion permeates the life of every human being as well as every society throughout the world, and every religion has norms, values and acceptable standards contained in its doctrine. By inculcating in adherents these norms and values, religion is expected to promote social control and acceptable standards in the society, thereby reducing vices such as corruption. Thus religion and corruption are seen as having a symbiotic relationship. Focusing on the Christian religion, this paper argues that the prevalence of corruption in the Nigerian society today is an indication that the Christian religion is failing and is losing its potency to correct the vices in the society. It argues further that Christianity has been bastardized and commercialized to the extent that it is losing its appeal as a promoter of right values and spiritual standing as a result of factors such as quest for prosperity/materialism by adherents and religious leaders, quest for power, victory over perceived enemies; selfish interests, sycophancy and the like, all at the expense of the virtues and moral standards emphasized in the Bible. The paper concludes that not only has the Christian religion as an anti-virus failed in its function to cure a virus such as corruption, it has in itself become a citadel of corruption and the paper recommends that governments at all levels, religious leaders, adherents and the entire masses have a big role to play if the fight against corruption in Nigeria is to be successful.
Keywords: Religion, Corruption, Christianity, Spiritual values, Society