Essay On Religion And Religion In Nigeria

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Religion and Politics/Pluralism in Nigeria Nigeria is undoubtedly one of the most religious countries in the world. As a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country, Nigeria’s broad religious geography reflects the historical exposure of its northern communities, Islam, and its southern parts of Christianity (CIA World Fact Book ). The country is divided regionally into the north and south. The three dominant religions in nigeria are traditionnal religion, Islam, and Christinanity. All these religious ideologies allow for interaction between religion and politics (Danjibo and Oladeji). Nigeria has three religious divisions with 50% of the population being Muslims, 40% Christian, and 10% practicing traditional religions. When Nigeria attained independence in 1960, it officially became a secular state (CIA World Fact Book ). Despite Nigeria’s secular constitution, religion has become increasingly important in the public state (Danjibo and Oladeji). The need for political stability in Nigeria just can’t be overemphasized. Nigeria’s main focus, as a whole is to focus of the political future of the nation. However, they have multiple interests flooding in from different dimensions. One of the major interests of the Nigerian government is the relationship between religion and politics. Religion plays a major role in the politics of Nigeria, which in turn significantly influences political decisions and policies of the nation. “…religion has negatively affected politics. However it should be noted that politics has equally affected religious thoughts, practices, and beliefs in the country” (Oguntola-Laguda, 127) Very often, we see religious leaders engage in politics even within the church. “Politics has been reported to have influenced the ... ... middle of paper ... ...ffectively in Nigeria, but the benefits that could be derived from such relationship depend soley on the sincerity of those who are engaged in the practice of these phenomena. Politicians and people of religious faiths need to recognize the right of individual to freedom of religion. No one should be forced to practice a religion that is not his/her choice. Political leaders should aim to secularize their policies and show nutrality at all times in religious affairs. Chrsitianity and Islam have a lot of similarities than dissimilarities. If these can be accepted and taken into consideration, then religion and politics in Nigeria could interact positively inspite of the pluralistic nature of the country. Religion is, among other things, a complicated multifaceted social phenomenon that is constantly changing, evolving, and adapting to an ever-changing environment.

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