April 16, 2007

Nigerian Muslims Self-Identify First with Their Religion

91%

That’s the huge proportion of Muslims in Nigeria who say their religion is more important to them than their identity as Africans, Nigerians or members of an ethnic group; nearly as many Christians, 76%, also name their religion as the most important factor in their lives.

Nigerian Muslims, are nearly unanimous (91%) in naming their religion, rather than their nationality, as the most important factor in their lives — a view shared by 76% of Christians in Nigeria and a sharp reminder of the religious divide in Africa’s most populous country as it prepares for presidential and National Assembly elections on April 21. However, a 2006 survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, also found the appetite for major political change extends across the religious spectrum. Large majorities of both the country’s Christians (94%) and Muslims (97%) say they are dissatisfied with conditions, and the discontent extends to virtually every major secular institution. Read More