The responses of the church in Nigeria to socio-economic, political, and religious problems in Nigeria: a case study of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
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Mbachirin, Abraham T.
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This dissertation evaluates the activities of the church in Nigeria and its contribution to national development. Christianity came to Nigeria through missionary activities of various parts of the western world and South Africa and was firmly established in the late eighteen century. Today, Christianity is one of the major religions in Nigeria with a significant numerical strength as well as a profound social, economical, political, and religious influence both inside and outside Nigeria. Since its establishment, Christianity has made great achievements in the areas of education, healthcare, and rural development. This study aims to: first, show that the church in Nigeria has been part of nation building and in some areas has been ahead even the government. Second, to unveil the social, economic, political, and religious problems in Nigeria, and discuss their interconnection, intensity, as well as how they impede development in Nigeria. Third, to investigate the motivations or philosophy responsible for the emergence of Christian religious organizations, especially the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the umbrella of Christian churches in Nigeria. Fourth, to identify and analyze the approaches of the church to socio-economic, political, and religious problems, and unveil the implications of these responses on the church and the Nigerian society in general. This study demonstrates that the responses of the church in Nigeria have more to do with socio-economic, political and religious realities than a theological and philosophical conviction. The responses of the church are situationally motivated and compelled. The socio-economic and political realities in Europe and Africa played a major role in the coming of missionaries to Nigeria. In fact, the Nigerian church and its organizations are pragmatic in their activities and approaches to socio-economic, political, and religious issues. In some cases, the approaches taken by the church to address societal problems have created more problems than they have solved. Nevertheless, the church acting through (CAN) has made notable achievement.