Religious intolerance and the quest for progressive change in Nigeria
The clamour for change in Nigeria‟s socio-political terrain in contemporary times is a strong attestation to the fact that this country is embroiled in acute social, political and economic quagmire. One of the issues serving as obstacle to Nigeria‟s progress as a pluralistic polity is intolerance. There are various categories of intolerance in Nigeria. They include religious, ethnic, political, and gender intolerance, among others. More acute is religious intolerance because the metaphysical nature of religion makes it to be easily manipulated and dragged into other issues of public life. Therefore, this study investigates religious intolerance with a view to underscore how it has encumbered progressive change in Nigeria. Historical, critical, analytical and constructive methods of research were adopted for this study. Leaning on the theory of religious relativism, this paper ascertained that the issue of religious intolerance has indeed encumbered Nigeria‟s effort towards positive change and development in the areas of security and social stability, economic prosperity, democratic transformation and consolidation, integration of values and national unity. The authors submit that for Nigerians to experience progressive change in public life, religious adherents across religious divides must demonstrate genuine attitude of tolerance towards believers of other faith traditions in the country.
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