Chimamanda Adichie Reveals Why She Stopped Attending The Catholic Church In Nigeria

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Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 43 in an interview with media personality, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu revealed why she stopped attending the Catholic Church in Nigeria.

According to her Catholicism is all about money, fundraising and thanksgiving in Nigeria.

She said :

“I grew up Catholic. Catholicism was very important to me. It‘s almost like a culture, not just a religion. So even if you leave the Catholic Church, it’s in you. Today, I don’t like to talk about religion because I don’t know,” she said.

I think of myself as agnostic and questioning. Catholicism holds you tight. There are many other protestant denominations that are not so. It’s all-inclusive. ‘You cannot eat before mass. You have to go to confession.’

There are so many rules. It teaches you guilt in a way that I don’t think so many protestant denominations do. I’m Catholic, nominally. I still feel protective of some things about the Catholic Church. But I don’t attend it in Nigeria.

Nigerian Catholicism is way too much about money, fundraising, and thanksgiving. Some in the east even look at who’s wearing gold. I think the focus of religion should be things Nigerian Catholicism doesn’t focus on.

Culturally, I call myself a catholic. But if being religious means performing and going to confession, I’m not. I don’t go to church in Nigeria. Outside the country? Certainly not often. When I find a progressive Catholic Church, I go.

There’s still something beautiful about the mass. I find Latin beautiful, the priests sweeping up in their dresses, and the sense of community. But there’s also a lot that I quarrel with. It’s the pope I love because he’s so human. 

Hyper-conservative Catholics don’t like him. But if they read Catholic history, they should know there have been people like him who have reformed the church. I respect religion in general while questioning some of its excesses.”

Also speaking on why she doesnt watch Nigerian movies she said:

“Nollywood is something I’m grateful exists. If I’m outside Nigeria, you dare not talk bad about it. I will fight you. But I hardly ever watch Nollywood. Years ago, I would start something and it was just hard to finish.

I would be like there are problems with the dialogue, the continuity. There were problems with basic things but I think it’s changing a bit. But I did watch something that I quite liked, the new ‘Living In Bondage’. I quite liked it.

I watched it because a friend of mine had suggested it and because I feel very emotionally attached to the original ‘Living In Bondage’. It’s charmingly innocent. Jazz in Nollywood has always been a thing that I liked to mock.

People turning in chickens and that kind of thing. But the way jazz was done in this remake was really good.

It’s a testament to what Nollywood has become and what it can do. But I’m must say that I’m much more willing to give Nollywood a chance than I’m to give mainstream American TV shows a chance.” 

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