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Civil disobedience and democratic sustainability in Nigeria: a study of Acts 5: 17-42

Adewale J. Adelakun


Civil disobedience was made famous in the 1950s‟ protests against racial discrimination in the United States of America. Arising from this are different views on whether it is right or wrong for good citizens to disobey civil authorities. From biblical perspective, civil disobedience is neither condemned nor commended directly but there are cases of individuals and groups of people who refused to obey civil orders in the Bible. In the recent time, the importance of civil disobedience to sustainability of democracy in Nigeria has not been given rapt attention by scholars. Hence, this article examines an act of civil disobedience in Acts 5: 17-42 and its implications for democracy in Nigeria. Using contextual hermeneutical approach, it is argued that civil disobedience is more advantageous than disadvantageous in democratic societies. It is concluded that while Christians are asked to obey all authorities, the New Testament allows non-violent civil disobedience.

Keywords: Christians, Civil, Democracy, Disobedience, Nigeria

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print ISSN: 2141-7040