How dominant is Islam in Nigeria? Can this country be called Islamic? Get statistics and other data on this important question for every Nigerian.
Nigeria's history is closely tied not only with ethnic strife, but with disputes concerning the official religious beliefs. We may assert that because of the abundance of tribal and national incorporations in the history of Nigeria, many of its residents are inclined to consider their religion as a main one. But is Nigeria an Islamic country? We may try to understand beginning with information provided us by statistics.
This country has two dominant religions. The split in its community has gone to an extreme extent. Let us gain deeper understanding on Nigeria and its beliefs.
Can we assume that Nigeria is mostly Islamic country? Everything is quite one-sided here: according to estimates of the census, exactly 50% of the total amount of population of the country is Muslim.
This religion belief is commonly widespread in the western and northern parts of the territory. The most largest and famous tribe practicing Islam is Yoruba. However, as about six years had passed since the last census, the data may be subjected to change.
The other 50% was divided with a ratio of 4:1 among Christianity and local ethnic beliefs.
Fulani Jihad movement manifested itself in Nigeria at the very beginning of the nineteenth century, now considered as the main Muslim move.
Since then, the northern part of Nigeria has held the banner of the mentioned belief.
However, religion was free to sway exactly until the moment, as Nigeria had become a member of the worldwide British colony.
The state created by the forces of Jihad, called Sokoto and existed even in times of full colonization, as a Protectorate department inside of the country. It is interesting and exciting that over the centuries the rulers of this Sultanate retained their influence and power, they rule till now. The official return to Sharia law occurred only in 1999.
Religious strife has greatly influenced the independence gaining process in Nigeria. They have delayed this time at least for five more years. The first clash between the two halves of the country took place back in 1953 – just when the question about the separation of Nigeria and the transfer of authorities’ power to local governments arose.
The request was rejected, particularly because of the fact that the country was divided into two parts – North and South – which had different religious beliefs (Islam and Christianity, respectively). Therefore, there were different opinions about the future of the country. In general, the majority of religious conflicts represented by two main religions, as all side and few religions did not ever participate in these fights.
Muslims in Nigeria have also been involved in various scandals associated with the organization of sects. During various times between 1980 and 2009, scandals associated with radical Islamic organizations erupted which advocated a complete rejection of medicine and modern technologies.
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Sects recruited mostly children from five to fifteen years; many were killed in skirmishes with police.
Another reason for the negative attitude and the persecution of such organizations was their association with terrorist campaigns. Last conflict, the biggest in in the number of victims, was recorded this year. It was connected to the activities of the now world-famous organization named “Boko Haram”, whose members are radical Islamists.
The current situation of religion in Nigeria
- Since 1990, Islamic religion entered the life of the local population gradually but inevitably,
- Currently, Islam is considered to be the main and most widely used religion, including the state level, in Nigeria,
- Official receptions and events often begin and end with the traditional prayers,
- Bigger part of the population familiar with at least two prayers of Arab origin and also the five main pillars of the Muslim religion,
- There are many mosques in the country.
Despite the fact that initially the number of Nigerians practicing Islam was around 26%, this figure has grown almost twice over the past years. Is Nigeria an Islamic country today? It is. Nigeria is officially recognized as the Muslim state, despite the commitment to tradition and a fairly large number of people practicing other beliefs. For more than fifteen years already, the country lives under Sharia law, and this is unlikely to be changed in the nearest future.