A former so-called pastor Bernadus Araeb who was the founder of a home-grown ministry called House to House for Jesus Ministries wants to register a Namibian organisation to represent the interests of all Namibians who do not believe in the existence of a god or gods.
Araeb told New Era that he believes he is the first ever clergyman to openly profess atheism in the country. “I conducted a lot of research on various religions by reading religious books such as the Bible, Quran, Hadith and the Torah which eventually led me to atheism,” Araeb told New Era last week Friday.
Araeb added that there are so many controversies as well as contradictions in these “so-called holy books” as even atrocities had been committed in the name of religion or the gods.
“I find these books irrelevant and illogical. Their mandate is and remains to spread lies, falsehoods and ultimately brainwash followers,” Araeb said. The former pastor said that it’s not allowed to question God nor disagree with the holy books, and that is regarded as one of the biggest sins or harms one will ever commit.
When asked about his past as a pastor, Araeb said: “I put that chapter behind me and I am at peace and enjoy my freedom like never before.”
“Apostasy is a norm one needs to guard against as it will cost your life. It ostracizes you as well as separates you from your loved ones in certain religious quarters. Religion to me is bad and promotes evil,” Araeb says.
According to him, he now believes that religion is the biggest lie ever told to mankind. On plans to register his organization for atheists, Araeb said that Namibia, being a secular state, is run according to a well-constructed constitution, which ultimately gives him the right to free speech and freedom of association.
“I have the right to belong to or register an organ that promotes, secures and protects my way of thinking as well as doing business. Politics and religion should never be in the same bed at all. The government therefore is a separate entity from all religious organs operating in Namibia. They (religion) should not influence the government. The purpose of having such an organization is exactly to guard against such practice,” he says.
He says he has the support of his family in his decision. “My wife and children are supporting me. That is the best thing that ever happened to me. You see I am blessed,” Araeb says with a smile.