Socio-Religious and Political Activism in Nigeria: A Comparative Analysis of Christians and Muslim Responses
Nigeria is multi-cultural and multi-religious country with two major religions, Christianity and Islam, each competing and claiming superiority and dominance over each other in number and in might. This claim of superiority as well as dominance has served as the foundation for religious intolerance and several socio-religious crises and violence that have bedevilled Nigeria since Independence in 1 st October, 1960.Though sometimes concealed in political garment, it is usually motivated by religious bigotry. The objective of this paper is to first, provide a historical overview of the background that has influenced the socio-religious and political activism in Nigeria since independence and examine the passivism or activism of the two religions in seeking socio-political justice and control in the political activities of Nigeria and the aftermath of this power play in the affairs of governance. Lastly, the study will critique the effect of religious involvement in either promoting or reducing socioreligious crises and violence in contemporary Nigerian society. The paper adopted the historical and analytical research methods and has submitted that religious worldviews and beliefs are the major determinants of socioreligious and socio-political violence in Nigeria and therefore recommends a kind of integrative religious education at all levels which must include religious tolerance for peaceful co-existence in Nigeria.
Keywords: Christianity, Islam, Social, Religious, Political, Activism, Violence, Nigeria