RELIGION IN NIGERIA: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
In Nigeria, we have three basic types of religious groups, Christianity, Islam and others which are mostly traditional. Research has shown that on the average, about 51% of the population in Nigeria are Christian of which about a quarter are cathoics. 48% are Muslims while about 1% are traditionalists. In Nigeria, there is freedom of religion.
BRIEF HISTORY OF RELIGION IN NIGERIA
From time immemorial, our ancestors were traditionalists. They worshipped gods made of clay, wood and stone. They offered sacrifices and oblation to them. The gods then were believed to be very potent and could fight for its people, helping them to win wars. In the event that such gods were made angry, sacrifices were offered by the priest of the gods to placate them. Nowadays there are still people that believe in these gods although they are a very small fraction.
ISLAM – Religion In Nigeria
This religion was the first foreign religion that came in through the Northern part of Nigeria. This explains why majority of the Muslims today come from the north. However it took a while before the Islamic religion became fully established. At first, mosques where only found in strategic places of the most important cities in the North. Then the number of mosques increased as the religion spread to other parts of the North and eventually, other parts of the country. The Muslims believe in Allah, the Almighty and All knowing God and they make use of the Qu’ran as their holy book. Nigeria is home to one of the largest number of Muslims in Africa.
CHRISTIANITY – Religion In Nigeria
Although this religion came a while after Islam, it spread faster. The introduction of Christianity could be dated a far back as the period when slave trade began. This religion came in through the eastern part if Nigeria and quickly spread to the south and then to other parts of the country. The rapid spread of Christianity was aided by the British invasion. As the colonial masters, they brought in their mode of governance, religion and the likes into Nigeria. The Christians believe in Jesus as the savior of the world. They worship in churches and use the Bible as their holy book. Christianity is th dominant religion in Nigeria.
However Nigerians have not fully learned to live together peacefully inspite of their religious differences. There are occasional clashes between religious groups as some have turned into fanatics. The best method of resolving issues is through dialogue.
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