Clash of Religious Civilisations in Nigeria: Understanding Dynamics of Religious Violence

Lenshie, Nsemba Edward, Inalegwu Stephany Akipu


This paper examines the clash of religious civilizations in Nigeria to understand the dynamics of religious violence. The paper posits that religious violence in Nigeria dates to the era Islam and Christianity through the activities of the missionaries was introduced among the various ethnic groups from the North and South Poles respectively. The two religions with ‘messianic’ mission of civilizing the world, transformed into competition for converts. In the search for converts the missionaries perpetuated violence against indigenous populations, their cultural and religious systems. The hitherto existing indigenous religion – the African Traditional Religion – cemented relationships between people, society and nature. With the arrival of ‘new religions’ – Islam and Christianity, in their quest to dominate led to conflicting relations among various ethnic groups that make up the Nigerian federation. The collision of these religions gave birth to the clash of religious civilizations, which have become unprecedented in contemporary time. The nature of religious violence in Nigeria is tied to elite manipulation of religious adherents to advance their own interests in the political arena. The paper concludes that putting religious differences to culture is central to curbing religious violence in Nigeria.

Keywords: Religious civilization, Islam, Christianity, religious manipulation, religious violence

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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