Christianity in Nigeria

Christianity in Nigeria represents one of several religious traditions in the country, including Islam and Traditional African religions

Assumpta Cathedral, a Roman Catholic church in Owerri
Street preacher

Christianity arrived to Nigeria in the 15th century through Augustinian and Capuchin monks from Portugal.[citation needed] By 2020 it accounted for an estimated 46.18% of the Nigerian population; two-thirds of which are Protestant.[1] According to the Pew Research Center, in 2011, Nigeria had the largest Christian population of any country in Africa, with more than 80 million people in Nigeria belonging to various denominations.[2] Christianity is the majority religion in the southern and central region in Nigeria.[citation needed]

Denominations edit

Figures in the 2020 edition of The World Christian Encyclopedia (Johnson and Zurlo 2020) drew on figures assembled and updated as part of the World Christian Database (WCD); these put those who identify as Christians on 46.3%, and Muslims on 46.2 and ‘ethnic religions’ on 7.2%.[3] Statisticians estimate that there may be up to a hundred million Christians in Nigeria.[4]

Statistics edit

Major Denominations Members (millions)
Anglican 22[5]
Roman Catholic 21
Church of Christ 8
Baptist 6.5
Evangelical Church 6
Redeemed Christian 5
Apostolic Church 4.5
Presbyterian 4
Assemblies of God 3.6
Lutheran 2.2
Methodist 2
QIC United Evangelical 2
Evangelical Reformed 1.5

Roman Catholicism in Nigeria edit

A Catholic church in Maryland, Lagos

The Catholic Church has an increase of followers in Nigeria. In 2020, there were an estimated 32 million baptised Catholics in Nigeria.[6] The Archdioceses of the Roman Catholic Church are Abuja, Benin City, Calabar, Ibadan, Jos, Kaduna, Lagos, Onitsha, and Owerri.[7][8] Cardinal Francis Arinze is a Roman Catholic Cardinal from Nigeria.[9]

Anglican Church of Nigeria edit

The ecclesiastical provinces of the Church of Nigeria are Lagos, Ibadan, Ondo, Edo, The Niger, Niger Delta, Owerri, Abuja, Kaduna, and Jos.[10] Its primate is Nicholas Dikeriehi Orogodo Okoh.[10] The Church of Nigeria claimed about 18 million members in 2016, with an estimated 2 million members being active.[11]

The Apostolic Church Nigeria edit

The Apostolic Church Nigeria is a Pentecostal Christian denomination in Nigeria, affiliated with the Apostolic Church. Its headquarters is in Lagos. It had 4.5 million members in 2016.[12]

Assemblies of God edit

The General Council of the Assemblies of God Nigeria has its origins in the Nigerian Church of Jesus Christ and a partnership with the Assemblies of God USA in 1934. The council was founded in 1964. It had 16,300 churches and 3.6 million members as of 2019.[13][14]

Church of Christ in Nigeria edit

The Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), formerly Church of Christ in Nigeria, is a Christian denomination in Nigeria. It was founded in 1904. Its headquarters is in Jos, Plateau State. It used to have the name of Ekklesiyar Kristi A Nigeria. It is estimated to have over 8,000,000 members.[15]

Evangelical Church Winning All edit

The Evangelical Church Winning All has about 6000 congregations and 6 million members.[16] It was founded by SIM, a missions organization established in Nigeria in 1893.[16]

Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ edit

The Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ was formed in Nasarawa State on 8 July 1916. The church has approximately 1.5 million members.[17]

Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria edit

The Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN) is a major Lutheran denomination in Nigeria, a member of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). It was established as an independent church in 1913 from the Sudan United Mission, Danish Branch (SUMD), known today as Mission Afrika. The LCCN now has an estimated 2,200,000 members in over 2,400 congregations nationwide.[18]

Methodist Church Nigeria edit

The Methodist Church Nigeria is one of the largest Methodist denominations in the world and one of the largest Christian churches in Nigeria, with around two million members in 2000 congregations. It has seen exponential growth since the turn of the millennium.[19]

Nigerian Baptist Convention edit

The Nigerian Baptist Convention had about 6.5 million baptized members in 2008.[20] The Baptist work was started by Thomas Jefferson Bowen in 1850. It currently has thirty five conferences in different ecclesiastical in Nigeria. It has its headquarter in Dugbe, Ibadan, Oyo State.[20]

Presbyterian Church of Nigeria edit

The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria has almost 4 million members in thousands of congregations mainly in Nigeria, but has regional Presbytery in Togo as well as in Benin. It was founded in the mid-1800s, by ministers of the Church of Scotland. It is a member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches.[21]

Redeemed Christian Church of God edit

The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) is a Pentecostal megachurch and denomination founded in Lagos, Nigeria. The General overseer (most senior pastor) is Enoch Adeboye, ordained in 1981. In 2008, it had 14,000 churches and 5 million members in Nigeria.[22]

QIC-United Evangelical Church edit

The QIC-United Evangelical Church (Founded as Qua Iboe Church) is a Christian denomination in Nigeria. It has existed since 1887.[1] It has more than 1,000 congregations and 2,000,000 members.[citation needed]

The Seventh-day Adventist Church edit

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria as of 2016 has close to 250,000 members throughout Nigeria divided into three different unions.[23]

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints edit

Aba Nigeria Temple (LDS)

Within Nigeria, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also has a growing presence. On January 1, 2012, the church claimed more than 100,000 members in the country[24] and had established 315 congregations.[24]

The church announced the creation of a new Owerri mission in Nigeria in 2016.[25]

Other edit

In 1970, 87,000 Jehovah's Witnesses were present in Nigeria,[26] which grew to more than 360,000 by 2014.[27]

The New Apostolic Church reported 300,000 members in 2016.[28][29]

Aladura is a classification of churches that abide by a Christian religious denomination or trend inspired by activities of progressive church elements, J.B Sadare, D.O. Odubanjo, I.O Sanya and others in 1918.[30] The denomination has over 3 million adherents worldwide. The Aladura movement started at Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria in 1918.[30] This movement later metamorphosed to Living Faith Church Worldwide (whose headquarters is the Faith Tabernacle) and to the Christ Apostolic Church. The Church of the Lord (Aladura) is an African Initiated Church founded by Josiah Olunowo Ositelu in 1925, and inaugurated in 1930 in Ogere Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria. Ositelu was born on 15 May 1900 at Ogere, ijebu-Remo, Ogun State in Nigeria.

Since the 1990s, there has been significant growth in many other churches, independently started in Africa by Africans, particularly the evangelical Protestant ones. These includes the mostly charismatic and Pentecostal denominations such as Mountain of Fire and Miracles, Christ Embassy, Streams of Joy International, Celestial Church of Christ and Dominion City. These churches have further many millions of members and followers in Nigeria.[31] Estimates of Pentecostals in the country reach up to 40 million.[32]

National Church of Nigeria, Abuja edit

The National Church of Nigeria

The National Church of Nigeria (previously known as the Nigerian Ecumenical Centre and officially known as the National Christian Centre) is a non-denominational church building of the Christian Association of Nigeria, the umbrella body of many of Nigeria's Christian denominations.[33] The church is located in Abuja.

Freedom of religion edit

Nigeria is number six on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List, an annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution.[34] In 2022, the country was ranked number seven.

Persecution edit

Since the turn of the 21st century, 62,000 Nigerian Christians have been killed by the terrorist group Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen and other groups.[35][36] The killings have been referred to as a silent genocide.[37][38]

See also edit


References edit

  1. ^ World Religions Database at the ARDA website, retrieved 2023-08-08
  2. ^ "Global Christianity: Regional Distribution of Christians". Pew Research Center. December 19, 2011. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  3. ^ McKinnon, Andrew (2021). "Christians, Muslims and Traditional Worshippers in Nigeria: Estimating the Relative Proportions from Eleven Nationally Representative Social Surveys". Review of Religious Research. 63 (2): 303–315. doi:10.1007/s13644-021-00450-5. S2CID 233821494.
  4. ^ Kennett, R.; Thorne, S.; Barma, S.; Allen, T.; Durbin, E.; Hibbert, D.; Patel, Z.; Quinn, M.E.; Stevenson, M.; Stewart, F. (2023). A new focus on...The British Empire, c.1500–present for KS3 History. Hodder Education. p. 327. ISBN 978-1-3983-6306-9. Retrieved 2023-08-17.
  5. ^ Aberdeen University Research Archive
  6. ^ Catholics and Culture website, retrieved 2023-08-08
  7. ^ "Current Dioceses in Nigeria (Catholic Hierarchy)".
  8. ^ "Catholic Dioceses in Nigeria (by Ecclesiastical Provinces)". Retrieved 2020-09-29.
  9. ^ Carroll, Rory (2003-10-03). "The Guardian profile: Cardinal Francis Arinze". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  10. ^ a b "Site of the Church of Nigeria". Archived from the original on 2011-01-10.
  11. ^ Gledhill, Ruth. "Anglican membership figures could be out by millions". Christianity Today. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  12. ^ Bp-Relate (2016-09-08). "History Of The Apostolic Church Nigeria". Believers Portal. Retrieved 2020-09-29.
  13. ^ Bp-Relate (2016-09-06). "History Of Assemblies of God Church, Nigeria". Believers Portal. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  14. ^ "ABOUT". Assemblies of God Church, Obalende. 2019-01-18. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  15. ^ "History". Retrieved 2022-02-18.
  16. ^ a b "ECWA History". Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  17. ^ "Nigerian Brethren host the Fellowship of Christian Churches in Nigeria". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  18. ^ "About – The Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria". Retrieved 2021-12-30.
  19. ^ "Teaching the who, what and why of The United Methodist Church". ResourceUMC. Retrieved 2022-02-18.
  20. ^ a b "Site of the Nigerian Baptist Convention". Archived from the original on 2007-08-24. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
  21. ^ "Presbyterian Church of Nigeria - World Council of Churches". Retrieved 2020-01-22.
  22. ^ "RCCG Miracle Center | History". Retrieved 2022-05-17.
  23. ^ "2019 elections: SDA Church alleges disenfranchisement of over 250,000 members". Vanguard News. 2018-08-18. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  24. ^ a b "LDS Newsroom- country information- Nigeria". Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  25. ^ "Mormon Church announces in missions in Vietnam and Africa".
  26. ^ "DER SPIEGEL 46/1972 - Dunkle Zeit". Der Spiegel. 5 November 1972. Retrieved 2010-05-16.
  27. ^ 2015 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch Tower Society. p. 184.
  28. ^ "100 Congregations - Mississippi State Department of Health". Retrieved 2020-01-22.
  29. ^ "Ordinations and a retirement in Nigeria : New Apostolic Church International (NAC)". Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  30. ^ a b Bp-Relate (2016-09-08). "History of Aladura". Believers Portal. Retrieved 2022-05-17.
  31. ^ "[VERIFIED] List of all Churches in Nigeria and their founders". Info, Guides, and How-tos. Retrieved 2022-05-17.
  32. ^ Balogun, J.A. (2022). The Nigerian Healthcare System: Pathway to Universal and High-Quality Health Care. Springer International Publishing. p. 225. ISBN 978-3-030-88863-3. Retrieved 2023-08-17.
  33. ^ Refugees, United Nations High Commissioner for. "Refworld | Nigeria: Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); structure, goals, activities, and officers including the names of its Kano chapter organizing committee; whether it has a Kaduna chapter". Refworld. Retrieved 2022-05-17.
  34. ^ "Nigeria is number 7 on the World Watch List (Retrieved 2023-04-27)".
  35. ^ F. Haverluck, Michael (7 August 2020). "'Silent slaughter' – 2 decades of genocide in Nigeria". Genocide Watch. 7 August 2020.
  36. ^ "ICON Launches New Report Proving Nigerian Genocide". Missions Box. 3 August 2020.
  37. ^ "Silent Slaughter". International Committee on Nigeria.
  38. ^ "Nigeria's Silent Slaughter Genocide in Nigeria and the Implications for the International Community". International Committee on Nigeria.