History Of Nigeria Religion

Nigeria, the most populous African country (with a population of over 182 million in 2015), is nearly equally divided between Christianity and Islam, though the exact ratio is uncertain. There is also a growing population of non-religious Nigerians who accounted for the remaining 5 percent.

The majority of Nigerian Muslims are Sunni and are concentrated in the northern region of the country, while Christians dominate in the south. The Pew Forum in a 2010 report compared reports from several sources.

The 1963 Nigerian census found that 36% of the population was Christian, 38% Muslim, and 26% other; the 2008 MEASURE Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) found 53% Muslim, 45% Christian, and 2% other; the 2008 Afro barometer poll found 50% Christian, 49% Muslim, and 1% other; Pew’s own survey found 52% Muslim, 46% Christian, and 1% other.

Most of Nigeria’s Christians are Protestant (broadly defined) though about a quarter are Catholic.[5] From the 1990s to the 2000s, there was significant growth in Protestant churches, including the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Winners’ Chapel, Christ Apostolic Church (the first Aladura Movement in Nigeria), Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Evangelical Church Winning All, Mountain of Fire and Miracles, Christ Embassy, The Synagogue Church Of All Nations, The Common Wealth Of Zion Assembly (COZA), the Aladura Church (indigenous Christian churches being especially strong in the Yoruba and Igbo areas), and of evangelical churches in general. These churches have spilled over into adjacent and southern areas of the middle belt. Denominations like the Seventh-day Adventist also exist.

Other leading Protestant churches in the country are the Church of Nigeria of the Anglican Communion, the Assemblies of God Church, the Nigerian Baptist Convention and The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations. The Yoruba area contains a large Anglican population, while Igboland is predominantly Catholic and the Edo area is predominantly Assemblies of God, which was introduced into Nigeria by Augustus Ehurie Wogu and his associates at Old Umuahia.

Islam dominated the north and had a number of supporters in the South Western, Yoruba part of the country. Nigeria has the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa. In terms of Nigeria’s major ethnic groups’ religious affiliations, the Hausa ethnic group in the North is mostly Muslim, the West which is the Yoruba tribe is divided among mainly Islam, Christianity, and traditional religions, while the Igbos of the East and the Ijaw in the South are predominantly Christians (Catholics) and some practitioners of traditional religions.

The middle belt of Nigeria contains the largest number of minority ethnic groups in Nigeria and they are mostly Christians and members of traditional religions with few Muslim converts.

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