Filed Under (Beninese culture) by Rob on 05-07-2008

When the comedienne Victoria Wood visited Ghana a while back she commented that “God seems to be everywhere in Ghana.” The same could be said of Togo and Benin…

Below are a few examples we’ve encountered here. TL: The “Christ Bar Café” in Ganhi, Cotonou TR: The “God’s Gift Phone Center” in Fidjrosse, Cotonou, BL: The “Good God Barberings Saloon” (and phone box?!) in Lomé, Togo and finally, BR: A Ghanaian lorry passing through reminding us to “Give thanks to God”.


One thing I love about being here is that people are open to talking about God and about spiritual matters in general. In fact, most Beninese believe in a creator God of some kind, be it a Muslim one (Allah), a voodoo one (Mawu-Lissa) or the Jewish/Christian one (God!) So you can say you’re a Christian (or any other religion) without anyone looking at you like you have two heads or are some kind of freak. That’s nice and is sadly not always the case any more in the West. When I met the King of Allada a while back (see post here) he talked of a cohabitation pacifique between the religions of Benin and that is generally the case here.

I was, however, quite surprised to find that God is even involved in the manufacture of petrol pumps these days:


Nice one! Let’s hope it’s unleaded, eh? Recently, someone has been sticking Bible verses to all the traffic light posts in town. (Interesting to read while you’re stopped there trying to ward off all those salesmen and beggars!!) Again, due to the tolerance between religions here, nobody has defaced of ripped any of them down. Maybe we could learn a lesson from the Beninese in this domain…

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