Religion and Tourism in Nigeria

Paul Okoro Ashiegbu, Hilary Chukwuka Achunike


The task which this article sets off to explore is religious tourism, the way it is practised by Nigerians whether on the domestic, regional or at the international level. This kind of tourism in general involves faith-based activities, but in a heightened form it involves pilgrimages to holy places. Nigerians are so much involved in faith-based activities and travels either as adherents of African Traditional Religion (ATR), or as Muslims, or as Christians. This has made it become a point of concern for this paper while questioning whether the faith-based movements by Nigerians are inspired by faith or something else. The methodology and materials used in this research were sourced from the libraries, the internet and personal observations. The phenomenological method of looking at and analyzing things from how they appear was employed. The findings indicate that the positive effects of faith-based travels are yet to be seen in Nigeria. Again, government sponsors individuals and particular religious groups on pilgrimages, in a country which defines itself constitutionally as secular and in a country where many face abject poverty. Finally, it has been discovered that African Traditional Religion is marginalized or not attended to. The result of this is a state of marginalization and injustice which provokes agitations in parts of the country. This article concludes by calling on the Nigerian government to stop sponsoring pilgrimages and other faith-based travels for its citizens so as to maintain balance and achieve lasting peace.

Keywords: : Religion, Tourism, Pilgrimage, Christianity, Islam, African Traditional Religion, Justice, Nigeria

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