|National Christian Centre, Abuja a.k.a the Nigerian Ecumenical Centre, |
located on Independence Avenue in the Central Business District
I used to think that the trend of having local churches located in residential areas and having loud and noisy services at all hours of the day was a purely Nigerian affair. That is, until I discovered that it happens in other parts of the world too, including Brazil.
When I lived in Lagos, the church I attended was just two or three doors away from our house. It was right on the same street. That meant that we could tell if there was a church service going on without ever leaving the house.
But the people I truly felt sorry for were the neighbors who lived next door to the church. I mean, they heard everything: prayer meetings, praise and worship, instrumentalists practice, sermons, choir practice ... name it. Let's not even talk about the parking wahala with people blocking your gate. No, that one is a sermon for another day.
I have often wondered which one came first: the church or the houses in the neighborhood? Does it even matter? The bottom line is that the constant noise is a headache that people have gotten used to. In fact, it is an integral part of city life.
I have heard of people growing up in neighborhoods with both mosques and churches with the result being that Christians in those neighborhoods could recite the Muslim prayers (from hearing it every single day) and vice-versa for the Muslims. Harmless side effects, right?
But what if the noise keeps you up at night and keeps you from getting a good night's sleep? Not so harmless, abi?
So, who do we blame for this poor urban planning / zoning? Who else but the government. Did you have anyone else in mind? I certainly did not. Rezoning is an option (in theory), but I am more interested in practical steps.
Do you or did you ever have a noisy church or mosque in your neighborhood? What did you or people in your neighborhood do about it? What would you suggest neighbors do about it, if anything? Kindly share.
*Image Source: Flickr