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Social Studies

Religion in Nigeria

Religion is a fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a group of people. These set of beliefs concern the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, and involve devotional and ritual observances. They also often contain a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Three major religion in Nigeria

The three major religion we have in Nigeria are:

Christianity

Muslim

Traditional

Christianity: It is the world’s biggest religion, with about 2.1 billion followers worldwide. It is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ who lived in the Holy Land 2,000 years ago. It is the belief of the Christians i.e the followers of Jesus Christ that He came to the world to die for the sins of men and they have the assurance that He rose again and that He will still come back to take the saints to Himself. People who practices Christianity are called Christians. The Christians follow the teachings of the Bible.

Islamic Religion:Islam began in Arabia and was revealed to humanity by the Prophet Muhammad. Those who follow Islam are called Muslims. Muslims believe that there is only one God. The Arabic word for God is Allah. Islam is a religious system begun in the seventh century by Muhammad. Muslims follow the teachings of the Qur’an and strive to keep the Five Pillars.

The Five Pillars of Islam

These five tenets compose the framework of obedience for Muslims:

The testimony of faith (shahada): “la ilaha illa allah. Muhammad rasul Allah.” This means, “There is no deity but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” A person can convert to Islam by stating this creed. The shahada shows that a Muslim believes in Allah alone as deity and believes that Muhammad reveals Allah

  1. Prayer (salat): Five ritual prayers must be performed every day

Giving (zakat): This almsgiving is a certain percentage given once a year.

Fasting (sawm): Muslims fast during Ramadan in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. They must not eat or drink from dawn until sunset

Pilgrimage (hajj): If physically and financially possible, a Muslim must make the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia at least once. The hajj is performed in the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar.

Traditional Religion

The traditional beliefs and practices of African peoples include various  traditional religions. Generally, these traditions are oral rather than scriptural,  include belief in a supreme creator, belief in spirits, veneration of ancestors, use of magic, and traditional medicine.The role of humanity is generally seen as one of harmonizing nature with the supernatural. Examples of traditional gods are ogun, sango etc

The Teachings of Religion

Every religion teaches the following:

Spiritual Knowledge is accessible to Everyone

Morals; don’t kill, lie, steal

To be peaceful

Compassion and respect for everyone

That God is inside us

God is everywhere

The existence of the soul

Exercise

What is religion?

There are three major religious movements in Nigeria; true or false?

Worldwide, Christianity has about how many followers? (A) 2.1 billion (B) 3 billion (C) 5 billion (D) None of the above

What are the five pillars of Islam?

List and explain the common teachings of every religion.

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