Category : Religions in Nigeria
Religions in Nigeria are one of the main causes of conflict in Nigeria.
While many have linked the challenges in the country to its extreme religiosity, I do, however, consider this untrue as countries like Thailand and Indonesia are more religious than Nigeria but developed nonetheless.
Here we discuss major religions that exist in Nigeria (the giant of Africa) and how they have affected the nation at large.
How Religious is Nigeria?
Obviously, you already know Nigeria is a very religious nation, ranked around 24th most religious nation by Wikipedia in 2019.
Statistically, more than 95% of the population of Nigeria are affiliated with one religion or another.
While a large percentage of Nigeria’s population are either Christians or Muslims, there are other minor religions that will be discussed below.
List of Nigerian Religions
Christianity is the most popular religion in Nigeria.
In 2010 the Association of Religion Data (ARD) had a census, and it was reported that 47.5 percent of the total Nigerian population were Christian and slightly bigger than the Muslim population of 45.5 percent.
While Christian folks have severally maintained that Christianity is not a religion, I am inclined to agree. However, for the purpose of this article, I will have it listed above.
Christianity was introduced in Nigeria around the 15th century in Itshekiri Kingdom. It spread down south and is currently the chosen religion of the Igbos and people from Southern Nigeria.
More about Christianity in Nigeria
The Islamic religion is the second most popular religion in Nigeria and unarguably the first to be introduced in Nigeria.
Lots of people play a significant role in the establishment of Islam in Nigeria, and the chief among them is Usman Dan Fodio.
While a significant number of Yoruba are affiliated with the Islamic religion, popular surveys reveal that over 70 percent of the Hausa are Muslim.
The traditional religion has seen a major decline since the advent of Christianity in Nigeria. Several of the shrines have either been burnt down or replaced by churches.
However, a great number of traditional worshipers are still scattered all over Nigeria – making them the third most popular religion in Nigeria.
Other religions in Nigeria
There are other minor religions that exist in Nigeria, like the
1. Judaism or Jewish religion – A tiny fraction of people in Nigeria are affiliated with the Jewish religion. Around 0.1 percentage of the population.
2. Atheism – About 0.2 percent of the Nigerian population are atheists, this group is completely oblivious of the existence of spirit being. They don’t believe in God or the devil.
3. Hinduism – While I am yet to meet a Hindu in Nigeria, there are speculations that they exist in Nigeria. But I’m guessing they should be less than 100,000
The west is divided between Islam and Christianity
While the North is mainly Muslims, Over 80% are Muslims.
Nigeria has the largest population of Muslims in sub-Sahara Africa, The Hausa are predominantly Muslims. The Yoruba are part Muslims, part Christian, while a small fraction still remained in the traditional religions.
It was also noted that about 3.0 percent were members of other religious groups. (Atheism, Jewish religion, etc.)