The Ambivalent Role of Religion: The Socio-Political Perspective

Thomas. O. Ebhomielen, V. O. Aitufe


Religion can be the most powerful influence on the worldview, values, attitudes, motivations, decision, and behavior of individuals, groups and societies for better and worse. Religions are alternative ways of affording nature various cultural, moral, and spiritual meanings, and defining the place of humans in the nature including how they should act toward non-human beings and other phenomena. The literature on religious violence in Nigeria largely implicates socio-economic, political and governance deficits as the major causes of such violence. This article focuses on both positive and negative impacts of religion in Nigeria with a view to finding out its far-reaching effects on the Nigerian society and its politics. The theoretically identified possible destructive elements of religion on the individuals and by extension on the Nigerian society and the politics of the day thereby eroding the peace and harmony needed to forge ahead on national development. To achieve the laudable objectives of this paper the writers adopt the descriptive, historical and the narrative methodology. Possible remedies to surmount this monster against human and national peace are suggested and conclusion drawn on findings.


Religion, religious violence, Nigerian politics, role of religion.

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