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Religion as Freedom, Unity and Ideology in National Development in Nigeria

Religion as Freedom, Unity and Ideology in National Development in Nigeria

Michael N. Nwoko
Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy, Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria
Tel: +234 803 508 5495. Email: nwokomichael109@gmail.com

Abstract

The pattern and trend of religious-induced crises in recent times in Nigeria have brought some doubt in the minds of many Nigerians if truly religion is a social institution for unity and national development. Notwithstanding the ugly situation we have found ourselves now, one cannot conclude that religion is bad in all its ramifications. The paper therefore, discusses religion from the standpoint of Christianity and Islam as freedom, unity and ideology in national development in Nigeria. From theoretical understanding, the paper is predicated on the Theory of Religious Economy. Methodologically, content and documentary data analysis was employed and this was done qualitatively based on descriptive research design. One of the findings of the paper based on empirical review of literature is that religion especially Christianity and Islam in Nigeria have contributed to national development in the social, economic, educational, political, and healthcare systems. It is concluded here that religion has remained the bedrock upon which Nigeria has remained one indivisible country notwithstanding the various crises it has experienced since her political independence in 1960. One major recommendation of the paper upon which any other recommendation relies on is that the Nigerian state should have enough political will and commitment to seeing full implementation of section 38 of Nigerian 1999 Constitution as amended, which states thus: “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice or observance.”

Keyword: Religion, Unity, Ideology, Religious Ideology, National Development.

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