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Saturday, February 28, 2015

RELIGION: THE BIGGEST WASTER OF MONEY

mt2014-no-holds-barred
Almost half the world or over three billion people live on less than RM10 a day. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than RM50 a day. More than 80% of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
According to the ARC, the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, pilgrimages comprise the world’s biggest travel event.
Around 100 million people go on a pilgrimage every year, whether for a few hours, days or even weeks, according to figures compiled by ARC.
The largest human gathering in recorded history was the 2001 Maha Kumbh Mela, a festival held every 144 years in Prayag, Allahabad, India, which attracted more than 60 million Hindus.
The biggest annual pilgrimage remains the Muslim Hajj, in which between two-three million Muslim pilgrims travel to Mekah in Saudi Arabia every year. This excludes the Umrah or ‘small Haj’, which attracts another five million or so Muslims a year.
I do not know how much it costs the other religions but Muslims spend an estimated RM50-70 billion every year on the pilgrimage. And that is for less than 10 million of the 100 million people. So your guess is as good as mine how much the other 90 million people spend.
Can we just agree that every year hundreds of billions is spent on pilgrimages?
And what about the other costs? We need to print holy books and other religious literature, build and maintain places of worship, set up religious schools and run educational programs and classes, pay the salaries of ‘holy people’ and their staff, cover the costs of religious ‘authorities’, spend money on missionary organisations, and much more.
All told only God knows how many trillions are spent the way of the Lord over a decade. And we are talking about thousands of years and maybe thousands of years more to come until the day we blow up the world with a nuclear bomb.
I am sure God is very pleased with our sacrifice and with how prepared we are to spend our wealth for the sake of the Lord. After all God does want us to remember Him and worship Him. But I just wonder whether God would be even more pleased if we use all that money for the sake of humankind. I, for sure, know that most people would be happier to receive a free sack of rice than a free Bible or Qur’an.
Almost half the world or over three billion people live on less than RM10 a day. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than RM50 a day. More than 80% of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.
Is this God’s punishment on these people or is it that we spend more money on God and less money on fellow humans?
We still have millions of people suffering from malnutrition. We still have millions of people who are not given proper healthcare. We still have millions of people who do not have proper sanitation or running/piped water. We still have millions of people living in shacks and cardboard boxes.
And yet billions go to God every year and none to people who need this money the most.
And I am not yet including the further billions that are spent on armaments and the military to fight wars that are fought in the name of God. And I am not yet including the loss of human capital that is sacrificed in this ‘God’s war’, which could have instead been used to better this world.

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