This study examined an assessment of Nigeria’s religious crises- the causes, effects and solutions (a case study of the Ojo local government Area of Lagos state). The research work is divided into five chapters. The first chapter deals with the background of the study. The review of the related literature was carried out in chapter two. It shows the historical development of religious crises in Nigeria. A set of questionnaires on the causes and effects of religious crises in Nigeria was designed and administered to two religious leaders of both Muslims and Christians in different churches and mosques in Ojo local government. The data was collected and therefore analyzed. Findings show that religious crisis impedes immensely the economic development of the nation. Nigeria and religious leaders have a great role in the solution of the religious crisis and the development of the economy of Nigeria as a nation. Furthermore, recommendations were made to enable more research to be carried out on how to promote peace and unity among religions in Nigeria. 



Title page i

Certification ii

Dedication iii

Acknowledgement iv-vii

Abstract viii

Table of content ix

Chapter I: 

1.0  Introduction 1

1.1 Background to the Study 2

1.2 Statement of the problem 4

1.3 Purpose of study 5

1.4 Research Questions 6

1.5 Research Hypothesis 7

1.6 Significance of study 8

1.7 Scope and Limitation of study 8

Chapter II: Review of Literature

2.0 Introduction 10

2.1 Concept of Religion 11

2.2 Types of Religion 19

2.3 Political Function of Religion 35

2.4 The Effect of Religious Crisis on the Nation 57

2.5 Economic effect of the religious crisis on the Nation60

2.6 The possible Solutions to Religious Crisis 64

in Nigeria

Chapter III: Methodology

3.1 Research Design 73

3.2 Population of study 73

3.3 Sample and Sampling Procedure 73

3.4 Research Instrument and Instrumentation 74

3.5 Validation of Instrument 75

3.6 Procedure for Data Administration 75

3.7 Method and Data Analysis 75

Chapter IV: Data Analysis and Presentation of Result 

4.0 Introduction 76

4.1 Personal Data 76

Chapter V: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary 89

5.2 Conclusion 90

5.3 Recommendations 91

References 95

Appendix (Sample Questionnaire) 98


1.0 Introduction:

Human history is the history of crisis of values expressed in various inter and intra religions, ethnic, regional or class conflicts and contradictions. This ideal was aptly expressed by Marx and Engels (2001) when they argued that the history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggle crises. Therefore, it is synonymous with the initialization and aggregation of human interest; This implies that crises (religious, ethnic or class) are impossible unless there exists incompatibility between different values, desires or needs of people that co-exist

According to Igwe (2003) and Okoli (2001), while class crises exist between social classes, inter-state crises exist between ethnic groups, and religious conflict exists within and without class, ethnic groups and nation-states. These scholars opined that religion exists at the superstructure level, expressed as an ideology. However, ideologies and values remain the end of the cold war.

Although inter-religious crises date back to constant upheaves between Judaism and Christianity in the 16th century A.D, they become more prominent with the ascendance of Christianity as a state religion in Rome during the reign of Emperor Constantine in 306-336AD. Kegal et al. (1991).The ultimate expression of which was the 30mounth war that sought, among other things, to separate the secular and secular worlds.

1.1 Background to the study:

Nigeria is a pluralistic multi-ethnic, multi-religious society (Ishola, 2004); there are several adherents of various religions in Nigeria, such as Christianity, Islam, and African religions (African).

On the other hand, religious crises have contributed to the backwardness in Nigeria’s socio-economic development; when there is intolerance among these religions, there is every tendency to have crises in the country, and these crises jeopardize government policies.

Islamic-Christianity crises known in Nigeria and elsewhere today may have originated from the military campaign by Christian to recapture the holy land where Jesus lived from the Muslims. The crusade claimed a lot of lives and properties of both groups (Mear and Schneidar 1985:247)

However, these religious crises are not peculiar to Nigeria as it is also known in other religions like the middle east and other parts of Africa like Egypt, Sudan, Chad, and Tanzania (Waff, 1993). meanwhile, Nigeria has reached the state that it could be referred to as war in various parts of the country ranging from the Kano revolt (1980), Bulunkutu Bizarre (1982), Kaduna crises (1982), Jimeta war (1984), Gombe revolt (1985), Kastina crises (1999), Sharia reactions in Aba, Onitsha and Owerri in (1999), Sharia crises in Zamfara Kaduna, Bauchi, Sokoto, in (1999) Jos crises in (2008) and Boko Haram in (2009). This instance is as few as there was no year without three to four instances of religious crises in Nigeria.

While previous studies have tried to use various theories to explain the logic of the emergence of religious crises in Nigeria, ranging from frustration and aggression to elite, class and relative deprivation, this study will focus on the effect of religious crises on the nation of Nigeria.

1:2 Statement of the Problem 

Religion crises in Nigeria are not without cost to the Nigerian people. The disintegration, dispersion, instability, loss of life and properties, and discontinuity of economics, programmes and projects are its aftermath. The consequences are unemployment, hunger, diseases, infrastructural decay, corruption, and how income per capital skill persuades the economy.

It has been equally discovered that this violence has continued to exist because they serve the political and economic interest of ethnic-religious leaders in Nigeria, who use the violence as bait for federal negotiations. This study will therefore seek to find the solutions to this prevailing problem.

1.3 Purpose of Study

This study examines the causes, effects and solutions to religious crises in Nigeria. Based on this purpose, this study can be summarised as follows:

  1. To investigate the causes of frequent inter and intra ethnic crises in Nigeria.
  2. To determine whether ethnicity is responsible for most religions in tolerance among various ethnic groups in Nigeria.
  3. To find out the instrument responsible for the religious crises in Nigeria.
  4. To find out about government involvement in stopping the prevailing religious crises in Nigeria.
  5. To proffer a solution to the identified problems.

1.4 Research Questions

To guide the study, the following research questions will be examined:

  1. Could religious chauvinism (an aggressive and unreasonable belief that one’s own country or religion is better than others) the responsible for frequent inter and intra communal clashes in Nigeria?
  2. Do those ethnicities significantly influence most religious intolerance among ethnic groups in Nigeria?
  3. Could religious crises have any significant effect on the economic development of Nigeria?
  4. Could there be any solution to religious crises in Nigeria?
  5. Could the role of government in curbing religious crises have any effect on the people?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses are formed to guide the study:

  1. There would be no significant relationship between religious intolerance and religious crises.
  2. There would be no significant relationship between chauvinism and the frequent intra and inter-communal clashes in Nigeria.
  3. There would be no significant relationship between religious crises and economic development in Nigeria.
  4. There would be no significant relationship between ethnicity and religious crises.

1.6  Significance of the Study

This study would be of immense benefit to educators, teachers, students, schools, community members and the government.

It is hoped that this study’s findings will help expand current knowledge in the study area. Also, this study will help find a solution to the problem of religious crises in Nigeria to maintain peace and save the lives and properties of the people.

1.7  Scope and Limitation of the Study

Since the study intends to find out the causes, effects and solutions of religious crises in the nation, it will cover only the religious leader (clergy) in the Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.

The study will also use the religious leader of religion in Nigeria and religious, civic servants.