Revd. Dr. Idowu Ibitoye
Hostility simply means conflict, opposition or resistance in thought or principle, it is also when someone is unfriendly and full of anger towards another person. Hostility is now becoming rampant in our contemporary society and the opinion molders like religious leaders need to do something very fast through teachings and moral inculcation to downplay it among their followers. This write-up tries to look in to this issue and proffer possible solutions to the contemporary world.
Types of hostilities
I tried to group hostility into four major categories, reason is for its easy identification and how it affects our modern world.
- Religious Hostility – Religious hostility simply tries to create an hostile environment through religious beliefs and perpetrating hatred towards others who do not profess the faith. The incident of religious hostility is on the increase in almost all parts of the world. Religious hostility occurs when religious freedom of others are violated and denied. Many people have been harassed and molested because of their faith or believe. However, religious hostility can breed persecution; Infact hostility is the incubation for persecution of other religious adherents (Acts 9:1-2). Religious hostility must never be allowed to degenerate to full blown persecution. Many people had been denied jobs, promotion and favour simply because of their religious affirmations and by this many people suffer in silence and resort to the use of the weapon of prayer to fight the battle. Religious adherents must respect the faith of others and never allow such to determine their decision, most especially for those who occupy public and private offices.
- Political Hostility – By political hostility where a political party in power is being hostile to other rival parties. This particular hostility is gaining ground in recent times when democracy is the most acceptable mode of governance around the globe. We have seen a situation where some towns/cities suffer hostility because of their support for a particular party that was unable to get to power. Many have been denied their rights because of their affiliation to a political group. Many communities have been denied social amenities based on such hostility. Political hostility has frequently led to wanton destruction of lives and properties of perceive opponents. Our contemporary politicians must be true democrats and be objective in their dealings with all and sundry. One should not be blind-folded by power “because power corrupt and absolutely power corrupt absolutely”. Political office holders must be accommodating, knowing that it is God who gives and takes away power. The fact remains that everyone who occupies position of authority will give account to God almighty who put him/her there. I am using this medium to appeal to all our politicians to be more accommodating and loving, even to your political opponents. Political hostility must stop with immediate effect.
- Ethnic Hostility:- Wikipedia defines ethnic group as group of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a common set of tradition, ancestry, language, history, society, culture, nation, religion or social treatment within their area. However, ethnic hostility is now gaining ground in our country today, people are assisted if they came from same ethnic area and others who are from different cultures are denied such priviledges. This is breading hatred among other ethnic groups. We must know the facts that: All people are created in God’s image-no one should be hated as the story of creation in the bible did not begin with creation of social race of people. The creation of the first human is simply identified as “adam” meaning human kind (Gen. 1&20. Adam and Eve were not Hebrews, Egyptians or Canaanites. Their “race” or “ethnicity” was not identified, and they became the mother and father of all people and all ethnicities. However, the beginning of biblical creation account is not about white, black, or brown people, it is simply a story about all people. Gen. 1:26-27 affirmed that God created them in His image, meaning that all bear God’s image, deserving to be treated with special dignity and respect. People from all ethnic groups are limited in Christ- The New Testament affirms that there must be unity among brethren, that the old barrier of hostility and division between ethnic groups has been demolished through the cross of Christ and by this all people are one in Christ (Rm. 4; Gal. 3-4; Col. 3; Eph. 2). The primary identity of Christians is based on their relationship with Christ, and everyone is equal in Christ and no one should be discriminated against.
- Economic Hostility – Economic hostility is simply the hostility which someone suffers through economic struggle in daily living. Most Africans are living in poverty and many are living from hand to mouth. Poverty is the hostility which we must fight. However, economic hostility is when you deny a fellow human being his/her daily earnings. We have seen many employers of labour denying their employee their rights and benefits. Likewise, government in power sometimes refuse to pay workers emoluments because of happenings during elections. Many workers and labourers suffer in silence because of hatred metted at them, denying them of their daily bread.