A. THE COUNTRY
The Federal Republic of Nigeria, in West Africa, is a federal
constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and a federal
capital area. Nigeria has fertile agricultural land, extensive mineral
resources and is highly dependent on income from export of crude oil and
gas. But the revenue has been lost through wide scale massive
corruption. The majority live below the poverty line. The civilian
government is challenged by the present danger of national fragmentation
along tribal or religious lines. There is rivalry among the Yoruba,
Hausa and Igbo and vast differences between the feudal predominantly
Muslim north and the more developed, largely Christian south.
B. THE PEOPLE
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with ~158,260,000, and
there are 520 ethnic groups. The official language is English and 96%
use 21 major languages. ~99.6% are Sub-Saharan African, ~0.4% Other
(Arab, Western, Chinese, others).
C. RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIANITY/PENTECOSTALISM
Nigeria is constitutionally a secular state with freedom of religion.
But the northern ruling elite give preferential treatment to Muslims and
discriminate against Christians. Little has been done to stem the
growth of violent Islamist groups or to stop accelerating persecution of
Christians in the north. Muslim state leaders have imposed shari’a law
in nine northern states and parts of four others.
Estimates for Muslims vary between 30% and 55%, and for Christians
between 40% and 65%. Eight states appear to be overwhelmingly Muslim,
eighteen are overwhelmingly Christian and ten are split around 50% each.
~51.26% claim to be Christian, ~45.12% Muslim, ~3.31% Ethnoreligionist,
~0.3% Non-religious, ~0.01% Other.
In the Christian category:
~21.91% are Protestant, ~15.16% Independent, ~12.61% Anglican, ~12.08%
Catholic, <0.01% Orthodox, ~0.95% are considered “Marginal”.
Evangelicals represent ~30.8% of the population.
Charismatics represent ~19.4% and of those ~8% are Pentecostals
Operation World, Jason Mandryk. Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing, 2010.