How many steps does it take?

Do I Have To Believe In God To Enter Heaven Or Does Spending My Life in Hell Count?

Ezinne Ukoha
4 min readMar 11, 2018


When someone close to you dies and death seems to be a recurring theme in ways that lead to discomfort — there’s an inherent need to make sense of something that often times leaves you scared shitless.

When a family friend of ours recently passed away after being diagnosed with advanced uterine cancer — my mother’s already critical paranoia escalated as she tried to make sense of why the woman she had spent most of her life loving and admiring — had been cursed with such an affliction.

Her friend was a good person. And not in that generalized way that lumps most of us in that category — but in ways that are often times hard to replicate — especially when it demands a high degree of selflessness. She was warm, kind and patient and definitely cleansed the energy of my childhood home with her countless visits.

Yes — when people like that pass away under painful circumstances — we wonder why God isn’t merciful enough to perform those miracles that He’s known for — from back in the day — when such things weren’t just a myth.

My mother’s grief over her dead best friend is understandable — and while I’m able to comfort with words of encouragement and her days off from cooking — when it comes to conversations about the afterlife — it’s clear that my reasoning isn’t on par with her unwavering faith.

It must be excruciatingly hard for the woman who made me memorize the Lord’s Prayer — to hear me defiantly admit that I don’t believe in heaven or hell.

We all cope with sudden loss in our own way — and based on my background — which was seeped in Sunday school and weekly fellowships at the homes of “aunties” — you would expect that I would agree that my dearly departed “aunty” is resting in heaven — and enjoying the benefits of being in “a better place.”

But — after weathering the unapologetic trajectory of life while also witnessing the disgustingly hypocritical climate of churches under the leadership of anointed criminals — who profess rotten jargon in order to legitimize their persistent scamming — I have to make conclusions based on what I don’t believe.