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Christianity arrived to Nigeria in the 15th century through Augustinian and Capuchin monks from Portugal. By 2020 it accounted for an estimated 46.18% of the Nigerian population; two-thirds of which are Protestant. 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. Christianity is the majority religion in the southern and central region in Nigeria.
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%. Statisticians estimate that there may be up to a hundred million Christians in Nigeria.
|Major Denominations||Members (millions)|
|Church of Christ||8|
|Assemblies of God||3.6|
|QIC United Evangelical||2|
Roman Catholicism in Nigeria edit
The Catholic Church has an increase of followers in Nigeria. In 2020, there were an estimated 32 million baptised Catholics in Nigeria. The Archdioceses of the Roman Catholic Church are Abuja, Benin City, Calabar, Ibadan, Jos, Kaduna, Lagos, Onitsha, and Owerri. Cardinal Francis Arinze is a Roman Catholic Cardinal from Nigeria.
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. Its primate is Nicholas Dikeriehi Orogodo Okoh. The Church of Nigeria claimed about 18 million members in 2016, with an estimated 2 million members being active.
The Apostolic Church Nigeria edit
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.
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.
Evangelical Church Winning All edit
Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ edit
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.
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.
Nigerian Baptist Convention edit
The Nigerian Baptist Convention had about 6.5 million baptized members in 2008. 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.
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.
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.
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. It has more than 1,000 congregations and 2,000,000 members.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church edit
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints edit
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 and had established 315 congregations.
The church announced the creation of a new Owerri mission in Nigeria in 2016.
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. The denomination has over 3 million adherents worldwide. The Aladura movement started at Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria in 1918. 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. Estimates of Pentecostals in the country reach up to 40 million.
National Church of Nigeria, Abuja edit
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. 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. In 2022, the country was ranked number seven.
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. The killings have been referred to as a silent genocide.
See also edit
- Islam in Nigeria
- National Church of Nigeria
- Nigerian sectarian violence
- Protestantism in Nigeria
- Roman Catholicism in Nigeria
- List of notable pastors in Nigeria
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